Bifurcation diagram

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Template:No footnotes In mathematics, particularly in dynamical systems, a bifurcation diagram shows the possible long-term values (equilibria/fixed points or periodic orbits) of a system as a function of a bifurcation parameter in the system. It is usual to represent stable solutions with a solid line and unstable solutions with a dotted line.

Bifurcations in 1D discrete dynamical systems

Logistic map

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Bifurcation diagram of the logistic map. The attractor for any value of the parameter r is shown on the vertical line at that r.
Animation showing the formation of bifurcation diagram
Bifurcation diagram of the circle map. Black regions correspond to Arnold tongues.

An example is the bifurcation diagram of the logistic map:

The bifurcation parameter r is shown on the horizontal axis of the plot and the vertical axis shows the possible long-term population values of the logistic function.

The bifurcation diagram nicely shows the forking of the possible periods of stable orbits from 1 to 2 to 4 to 8 etc. Each of these bifurcation points is a period-doubling bifurcation. The ratio of the lengths of successive intervals between values of r for which bifurcation occurs converges to the first Feigenbaum constant.

Real quadratic map

{{#invoke:see also|seealso}} The map is .

Symmetry breaking in bifurcation sets

Symmetry breaking in pitchfork bifurcation as the parameter epsilon is varied. epsilon = 0 is the case of symmetric pitchfork bifurcation.

In a dynamical system such as


which is structurally stable when , if a bifurcation diagram is plotted, treating as the bifurcation parameter, but for different values of , the case is the symmetric pitchfork bifurcation. When , we say we have a pitchfork with broken symmetry. This is illustrated in the animation on the right.

See also


  • Paul Glendinning, "Stability, Instability and Chaos", Cambridge University Press, 1994.
  • Steven Strogatz, "Non-linear Dynamics and Chaos: With applications to Physics, Biology, Chemistry and Engineering", Perseus Books, 2000.

External links