Difference Equations & Possible Limits - MathOverflow most recent 30 from http://mathoverflow.net 2013-05-23T16:34:02Z http://mathoverflow.net/feeds/question/7452 http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.5/rdf http://mathoverflow.net/questions/7452/difference-equations-possible-limits Difference Equations & Possible Limits First Timer 2009-12-01T16:16:28Z 2009-12-01T18:01:20Z <p>The answer to this may well be in some elementary textbook - a reference might be more useful than a short answer here.</p> <p>If we look at the behaviour of a point in R <sup> n </sup> under matrix multiplication, we know that there are only a few pictures (it can remain fixed at a point, go in a circle, go in a spiral, etc.). In projective space, there are even fewer (spirals become circles, etc). </p> <p>I'm wondering if there are any similar theorems about what pictures are possible in the 'piecewise constant' as opposed to 'constant' case. Precisely, I have an (open) region of R <sup> n </sup> sliced up into smaller regions by hyperplanes; on each of these regions, I have a (single) matrix. Furthermore, on the boundaries, these matrices agree. I can now run the same sort of dynamics, and I'm curious as to what can happen. In addition to the question as to which 'pictures' are possible, I'm interested in any other general theorems that show up around here - this problem showed up in something else I was doing, and it is a little far from what I usually do.</p> <p>Thanks!</p> <p>PS: If the 'piecewise constant' condition seems ridiculous, we can think of the transformation on the line which takes x to 0.7x if x&lt;=0, and takes x to 0.4x if x >=0. These transformations 'look different' at 0 as written, but obviously do the same thing. The piecewise constant condition is essentially the same thing, along more interesting subspaces.</p> <p>[edited to respond to comment] Thanks for asking, I hope this is more clear: Space is sliced up into regions. Within each region there is a single (constant) matrix. Different regions may have different matrices; however, they must agree on the boundaries.</p> http://mathoverflow.net/questions/7452/difference-equations-possible-limits/7467#7467 Answer by Julián Aguirre for Difference Equations & Possible Limits Julián Aguirre 2009-12-01T18:01:20Z 2009-12-01T18:01:20Z <p>Even in the simplest one dimensional case with only "two pieces" you can find all kinds of behavior. Consider the tent functions $T_\alpha\colon[0,1]\to[0,1]$ defined by $$T_\alpha(x)=\alpha(1-|2x-1|),\quad0&lt;\alpha\le1.$$ As $\alpha$ varies from 0 to 1, the dynamics of $T_\alpha$ go from a unique globally atracting fixed point to chaos, just as the logistic family $4\alpha x(1-x)$.</p>