Our aim is to introduce, explain, and discuss the fundamental problems, ideas, concepts, results, and methods of the theory of dynamical systems and to show how they can be used in speci?c examples. We do not intend to give a comprehensive overview of the present state of research in the theory of dynamical systems, nor a detailed historical account of its development. We try to explain the important results, often neglecting technical re?nements 1 and, usually, we do not provide proofs. One of the basic questions in studying dynamical systems, i.e. systems that evolve in time, is the construction of invariants that allow us to classify qualitative types of dynamical evolution, to distinguish between qualitatively di?erent dynamics, and to studytransitions between di?erent types. Itis also important to ?nd out when a certain dynamic behavior is stable under small perturbations, as well as to understand the various scenarios of instability. Finally, an essential aspect of a dynamic evolution is the transformation of some given initial state into some ?nal or asymptotic state as time proceeds. Thetemporalevolutionofadynamicalsystemmaybecontinuousordiscrete, butitturnsoutthatmanyoftheconceptstobeintroducedareusefulineither case.
This book presents a survey of the field of dynamical systems and its significance for research in complex systems and other fields, based on a careful analysis of specific important examples. It also explains the fundamental underlying mathematical concepts, with a particular focus on invariants of dynamical systems, including a systematic treatment of Morse-Conley theory. Entropy and related concepts in the topological, metric, measure theoretic and smooth settings and some connections with information theory are discussed, and cellular automata and random Boolean networks are presented as specific examples.
Breadth of scope is unique
Author is a widely-known and successful textbook author
Unlike many recent textbooks on chaotic systems that have superficial treatment, this book provides explanations of the deep underlying mathematical ideas
No technical proofs, but an introduction to the whole field that is based on the specific analysis of carefully selected examples
Includes a section on cellular automata