Detecting and characterizing phase synchronization in nonstationary dynamical systems

Y C Lai, M G Frei, I Osorio, Ying-Cheng Lai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


We propose a general framework for detecting and characterizing phase synchronization from noisy, nonstationary time series. For detection, we propose to use the average phase-synchronization time and show that it is extremely sensitive to parameter changes near the onset of phase synchronization. To characterize the degree of temporal phase synchronization, we suggest to monitor the evolution of phase diffusion from a moving time window and argue that this measure is practically useful as it can be enhanced by increasing the size of the window. While desynchronization events can be caused by either a lack of sufficient deterministic coupling or noise, we demonstrate that the time scales associated with the two mechanisms are quite different. In particular, noise-induced desynchronization events tend to occur on much shorter time scales. This allows for the effect of noise on phase synchronization to be corrected in a practically doable manner. We perform a control study to substantiate these findings by constructing and investigating a prototype model of nonstationary dynamical system that consists of coupled chaotic oscillators with time-varying coupling parameter.

Original languageEnglish
Article number026214
Pages (from-to)-
Number of pages10
JournalPhysical Review. E, Statistical, Nonlinear and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2006




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