Small-world networks exhibit pronounced intermittent synchronization.

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Chaos 2017 Nov; 27(11):111101






We report the phenomenon of temporally intermittently synchronized and desynchronized dynamics in Watts-Strogatz networks of chaotic Rössler oscillators. We consider topologies for which the master stability function (MSF) predicts stable synchronized behaviour, as the rewiring probability (p) is tuned from 0 to 1. MSF essentially utilizes the largest non-zero Lyapunov exponent transversal to the synchronization manifold in making stability considerations, thereby ignoring the other Lyapunov exponents. However, for an N-node networked dynamical system, we observe that the difference in its Lyapunov spectra (corresponding to the N - 1 directions transversal to the synchronization manifold) is crucial and serves as an indicator of the presence of intermittently synchronized behaviour. In addition to the linear stability-based (MSF) analysis, we further provide global stability estimate in terms of the fraction of state-space volume shared by the intermittently synchronized state, as p is varied from 0 to 1. This fraction becomes appreciably large in the small-world regime, which is surprising, since this limit has been otherwise considered optimal for synchronized dynamics. Finally, we characterize the nature of the observed intermittency and its dominance in state-space as network rewiring probability (p) is varied. Chaos 2017 Nov; 27(11):111101.