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Coupling functions: universal insights into dynamical interaction mechanisms

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

Article number045001
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>6/11/2017
<mark>Journal</mark>Reviews of Modern Physics
Issue number4
Number of pages50
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The dynamical systems found in Nature are rarely isolated. Instead they interact and influence each other. The coupling functions that connect them contain detailed information about the functional mechanisms underlying the interactions and prescribe the physical rule specifying how an interaction occurs. Here, we aim to present a coherent and comprehensive review encompassing the rapid progress made recently in the analysis, understanding and applications of coupling functions. The basic concepts and characteristics of coupling functions are presented through demonstrative examples of different domains, revealing the mechanisms and emphasizing their multivariate nature. The theory of coupling functions is discussed through gradually increasing complexity from strong and weak interactions to globally-coupled systems and networks. A variety
of methods that have been developed for the detection and reconstruction of coupling functions from measured data is described. These methods are based on different statistical techniques for dynamical inference. Stemming from physics, such methods are being applied in diverse areas of science and technology, including chemistry, biology, physiology, neuroscience, social sciences, mechanics and secure communications. This breadth of application illustrates the universality of coupling functions for studying the interaction mechanisms of coupled dynamical systems.

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© 2017 American Physical Society