The study of experimental recording of dynamical systems often consists in the analysis of signals produced by that system. Time series analysis consists of a wide range of methodologies ultimately aiming at characterizing the signals and, eventually, gaining insights on the underlying processes that govern the evolution of the system. A standard way to tackle this issue is spectrum analysis, which uses Fourier or Laplace transforms to convert timedomain data into a more useful frequency space. These analytical methods allow to highlight periodic patterns in the signal and to reveal essential characteristics of linear systems. Most experimental signals, however, exhibit strange and apparently unpredictable behavior which require more sophisticated analytical tools in order to gain insights into the nature of the underlying processes generating those signals. This is the case when nonlinearity enters into the dynamics of a system. Nonlinearity gives rise to unexpected and fascinating behavior, among which the emergence of deterministic chaos. In the last decades, chaos theory has become a thriving field of research for its potential to explain complex and seemingly inexplicable natural phenomena. The peculiarity of chaotic systems is that, despite being created by deterministic principles, their evolution shows unpredictable behavior and a lack of regularity. These characteristics make standard techniques, like spectrum analysis, ineffective when trying to study said systems. Furthermore, the irregular behavior gives the appearance of these signals being governed by stochastic processes, even more so when dealing with experimental signals that are inevitably affected by noise. Nonlinear time series analysis comprises a set of methods which aim at overcoming the strange and irregular evolution of these systems, by measuring some characteristic invariant quantities that describe the nature of the underlying dynamics. Among those quantities, the most notable are possibly the Lyapunov ex ponents, that quantify the unpredictability of the system, and measure of dimension, like correlation dimension, that unravel the peculiar geometry of a chaotic system’s state space. These methods are ultimately analytical techniques, which can often be exactly estimated in the case of simulated systems, where the differential equations governing the system’s evolution are known, but can nonetheless prove difficult or even impossible to compute on experimental recordings. A different approach to signal analysis is provided by information theory. Despite being initially developed in the context of communication theory, by the seminal work of Claude Shannon in 1948, information theory has since become a multidisciplinary field, finding applications in biology and neuroscience, as well as in social sciences and economics. From the physical point of view, the most phenomenal contribution from Shannon’s work was to discover that entropy is a measure of information and that computing the entropy of a sequence, or a signal, can answer to the question of how much information is contained in the sequence. Or, alternatively, considering the source, i.e. the system, that generates the sequence, entropy gives an estimate of how much information the source is able to produce. Information theory comprehends a set of techniques which can be applied to study, among others, dynamical systems, offering a complementary framework to the standard signal analysis techniques. The concept of entropy, however, was not new in physics, since it had actually been defined first in the deeply physical context of heat exchange in thermodynamics in the 19th century. Half a century later, in the context of statistical mechanics, Boltzmann reveals the probabilistic nature of entropy, expressing it in terms of statistical properties of the particles’ motion in a thermodynamic system. A first link between entropy and the dynamical evolution of a system is made. In the coming years, following Shannon’s works, the concept of entropy has been further developed through the works of, to only cite a few, Von Neumann and Kolmogorov, being used as a tool for computer science and complexity theory. It is in particular in Kolmogorov’s work, that information theory and entropy are revisited from an algorithmic perspective: given an input sequence and a universal Turing machine, Kolmogorov found that the length of the shortest set of instructions, i.e. the program, that enables the machine to compute the input sequence was related to the sequence’s entropy. This definition of the complexity of a sequence already gives hint of the differences between random and deterministic signals, in the fact that a truly random sequence would require as many instructions for the machine as the size of the input sequence to compute, as there is no other option than programming the machine to copy the sequence point by point. On the other hand, a sequence generated by a deterministic system would simply require knowing the rules governing its evolution, for example the equations of motion in the case of a dynamical system. It is therefore through the work of Kolmogorov, and also independently by Sinai, that entropy is directly applied to the study of dynamical systems and, in particular, deterministic chaos. The socalled KolmogorovSinai entropy, in fact, is a wellestablished measure of how complex and unpredictable a dynamical system can be, based on the analysis of trajectories in its state space. In the last decades, the use of information theory on signal analysis has contributed to the elaboration of many entropybased measures, such as sample entropy, transfer entropy, mutual information and permutation entropy, among others. These quantities allow to characterize not only single dynamical systems, but also highlight the correlations between systems and even more complex interactions like synchronization and chaos transfer. The wide spectrum of applications of these methods, as well as the need for theoretical studies to provide them a sound mathematical background, make information theory still a thriving topic of research. In this thesis, I will approach the use of information theory on dynamical systems starting from fundamental issues, such as estimating the uncertainty of Shannon’s entropy measures on a sequence of data, in the case of an underlying memoryless stochastic process. This result, beside giving insights on sensitive and stillunsolved aspects when using entropybased measures, provides a relation between the maximum uncertainty on Shannon’s entropy estimations and the size of the available sequences, thus serving as a practical rule for experiment design. Furthermore, I will investigate the relation between entropy and some characteristic quantities in nonlinear time series analysis, namely Lyapunov exponents. Some examples of this analysis on recordings of a nonlinear chaotic system are also provided. Finally, I will discuss other entropybased measures, among them mutual information, and how they compare to analytical techniques aimed at characterizing nonlinear correlations between experimental recordings. In particular, the complementarity between informationtheoretical tools and analytical ones is shown on experimental data from the field of neuroscience, namely magnetoencefalography and electroencephalography recordings, as well as mete orological data.
Addressing nonlinear systems with informationtheoretical techniques / Castelluzzo, Michele.  (2023 Jul 07), pp. 1117. [10.15168/11572_381809]
Addressing nonlinear systems with informationtheoretical techniques
Castelluzzo, Michele
20230707
Abstract
The study of experimental recording of dynamical systems often consists in the analysis of signals produced by that system. Time series analysis consists of a wide range of methodologies ultimately aiming at characterizing the signals and, eventually, gaining insights on the underlying processes that govern the evolution of the system. A standard way to tackle this issue is spectrum analysis, which uses Fourier or Laplace transforms to convert timedomain data into a more useful frequency space. These analytical methods allow to highlight periodic patterns in the signal and to reveal essential characteristics of linear systems. Most experimental signals, however, exhibit strange and apparently unpredictable behavior which require more sophisticated analytical tools in order to gain insights into the nature of the underlying processes generating those signals. This is the case when nonlinearity enters into the dynamics of a system. Nonlinearity gives rise to unexpected and fascinating behavior, among which the emergence of deterministic chaos. In the last decades, chaos theory has become a thriving field of research for its potential to explain complex and seemingly inexplicable natural phenomena. The peculiarity of chaotic systems is that, despite being created by deterministic principles, their evolution shows unpredictable behavior and a lack of regularity. These characteristics make standard techniques, like spectrum analysis, ineffective when trying to study said systems. Furthermore, the irregular behavior gives the appearance of these signals being governed by stochastic processes, even more so when dealing with experimental signals that are inevitably affected by noise. Nonlinear time series analysis comprises a set of methods which aim at overcoming the strange and irregular evolution of these systems, by measuring some characteristic invariant quantities that describe the nature of the underlying dynamics. Among those quantities, the most notable are possibly the Lyapunov ex ponents, that quantify the unpredictability of the system, and measure of dimension, like correlation dimension, that unravel the peculiar geometry of a chaotic system’s state space. These methods are ultimately analytical techniques, which can often be exactly estimated in the case of simulated systems, where the differential equations governing the system’s evolution are known, but can nonetheless prove difficult or even impossible to compute on experimental recordings. A different approach to signal analysis is provided by information theory. Despite being initially developed in the context of communication theory, by the seminal work of Claude Shannon in 1948, information theory has since become a multidisciplinary field, finding applications in biology and neuroscience, as well as in social sciences and economics. From the physical point of view, the most phenomenal contribution from Shannon’s work was to discover that entropy is a measure of information and that computing the entropy of a sequence, or a signal, can answer to the question of how much information is contained in the sequence. Or, alternatively, considering the source, i.e. the system, that generates the sequence, entropy gives an estimate of how much information the source is able to produce. Information theory comprehends a set of techniques which can be applied to study, among others, dynamical systems, offering a complementary framework to the standard signal analysis techniques. The concept of entropy, however, was not new in physics, since it had actually been defined first in the deeply physical context of heat exchange in thermodynamics in the 19th century. Half a century later, in the context of statistical mechanics, Boltzmann reveals the probabilistic nature of entropy, expressing it in terms of statistical properties of the particles’ motion in a thermodynamic system. A first link between entropy and the dynamical evolution of a system is made. In the coming years, following Shannon’s works, the concept of entropy has been further developed through the works of, to only cite a few, Von Neumann and Kolmogorov, being used as a tool for computer science and complexity theory. It is in particular in Kolmogorov’s work, that information theory and entropy are revisited from an algorithmic perspective: given an input sequence and a universal Turing machine, Kolmogorov found that the length of the shortest set of instructions, i.e. the program, that enables the machine to compute the input sequence was related to the sequence’s entropy. This definition of the complexity of a sequence already gives hint of the differences between random and deterministic signals, in the fact that a truly random sequence would require as many instructions for the machine as the size of the input sequence to compute, as there is no other option than programming the machine to copy the sequence point by point. On the other hand, a sequence generated by a deterministic system would simply require knowing the rules governing its evolution, for example the equations of motion in the case of a dynamical system. It is therefore through the work of Kolmogorov, and also independently by Sinai, that entropy is directly applied to the study of dynamical systems and, in particular, deterministic chaos. The socalled KolmogorovSinai entropy, in fact, is a wellestablished measure of how complex and unpredictable a dynamical system can be, based on the analysis of trajectories in its state space. In the last decades, the use of information theory on signal analysis has contributed to the elaboration of many entropybased measures, such as sample entropy, transfer entropy, mutual information and permutation entropy, among others. These quantities allow to characterize not only single dynamical systems, but also highlight the correlations between systems and even more complex interactions like synchronization and chaos transfer. The wide spectrum of applications of these methods, as well as the need for theoretical studies to provide them a sound mathematical background, make information theory still a thriving topic of research. In this thesis, I will approach the use of information theory on dynamical systems starting from fundamental issues, such as estimating the uncertainty of Shannon’s entropy measures on a sequence of data, in the case of an underlying memoryless stochastic process. This result, beside giving insights on sensitive and stillunsolved aspects when using entropybased measures, provides a relation between the maximum uncertainty on Shannon’s entropy estimations and the size of the available sequences, thus serving as a practical rule for experiment design. Furthermore, I will investigate the relation between entropy and some characteristic quantities in nonlinear time series analysis, namely Lyapunov exponents. Some examples of this analysis on recordings of a nonlinear chaotic system are also provided. Finally, I will discuss other entropybased measures, among them mutual information, and how they compare to analytical techniques aimed at characterizing nonlinear correlations between experimental recordings. In particular, the complementarity between informationtheoretical tools and analytical ones is shown on experimental data from the field of neuroscience, namely magnetoencefalography and electroencephalography recordings, as well as mete orological data.File  Dimensione  Formato  

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