Stochastic regular grazing bifurcations

D. J.W. Simpson, S. J. Hogan, R. Kuske

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


A grazing bifurcation corresponds to the collision of a periodic orbit with a switching manifold in a piecewise-smooth ODE system and often generates complicated dynamics. The lowest order terms of the induced Poincare map expanded about a regular grazing bifurcation constitute a Nordmark map. In this paper we study a normal form of the Nordmark map in two dimensions with additive Gaussian noise of amplitude ε. We show that this particular noise formulation arises in a general setting and consider a harmonically forced linear oscillator subject to compliant impacts to illustrate the accuracy of the map. Numerically computed invariant densities of the stochastic Nordmark map can take highly irregular forms or, if there exists an attracting period-n solution when ε = 0, be well approximated by the sum of n Gaussian densities centered about each point of the deterministic solution, and scaled by 1 n , for sufficiently small ε > 0. We explain the irregular forms and calculate the covariance matrices associated with the Gaussian approximations in terms of the parameters of the map. Close to the grazing bifurcation the size of the invariant density may be proportional to ε, as a consequence of a square-root singularity in the map. Sequences of transitions between different dynamical regimes that occur as the primary bifurcation parameter is varied have not been described previously.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)533-559
Number of pages27
JournalSIAM Journal on Applied Dynamical Systems
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 30 Aug 2013


  • Brownian motion
  • Noise
  • Piecewise-smooth
  • Stochastic perturbation
  • Vibro-impacting system


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