Origin and scaling of chaos in weakly coupled phase oscillators

Mallory Carlu, Francesco Ginelli, Antonio Politi

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4 Citations (Scopus)
14 Downloads (Pure)


We discuss the behavior of the largest Lyapunov exponent $\lambda$ in the incoherent phase of large ensembles of heterogeneous, globally-coupled, phase oscillators. We show that the scaling with the system size $N$ depends on the details of the spacing distribution of the oscillator frequencies. For sufficiently regular distributions $\lambda \sim 1/N$, while for strong fluctuations of the frequency spacing, $\lambda \sim \ln N/N$ (the standard setup of independent identically distributed variables belongs to the latter class). In spite of the coupling being small for large $N$, the development of a rigorous perturbative theory is not obvious. In fact, our analysis relies on a combination of various types of numerical simulations together with approximate analytical arguments, based on a suitable stochastic approximation for the tangent space evolution. In fact, the very reason for $\lambda$ being strictly larger than zero is the presence of finite size fluctuations. We trace back the origin of the logarithmic correction to a weak synchronization between tangent and phase space dynamics.
Original languageEnglish
Article number012203
JournalPhysical Review. E, Statistical, Nonlinear and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jan 2018

Bibliographical note

AP wishes to acknowledge D. Paz ́o for a preliminary analysis. All the authors thank H. Chat ́e for useful discussions. We acknowledge support from EU Marie Curie ITN grant n. 64256 (COSMOS).


  • nlin.CD
  • cond-mat.stat-mech


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