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The answer to this may well be in some elementary textbook - a reference might well be more useful than a short answer here.

If we look at the behaviour of a point in R n 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).

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 n 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.

Thanks!

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<=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.

[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.

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# Difference Equations & Possible Limits

The answer to this may well be in some elementary textbook - a reference might well be more useful than a short answer here.

If we look at the behaviour of a point in R n 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).

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 n sliced up into smaller regions by hyperplanes; on each of these regions, I have a 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.

Thanks!

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<=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.