Correlations between the leading Lyapunov vector and pattern defects for chaotic Rayleigh-Bénard convection

R. Levanger, M. Xu, J. Cyranka, M. F. Schatz, K. Mischaikow, M. R. Paul

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We probe the effectiveness of using topological defects to characterize the leading Lyapunov vector for a high-dimensional chaotic convective flow field. This is accomplished using large-scale parallel numerical simulations of Rayleigh-Bénard convection for experimentally accessible conditions. We quantify the statistical correlations between the spatiotemporal dynamics of the leading Lyapunov vector and different measures of the flow field pattern's topology and dynamics. We use a range of pattern diagnostics to describe the flow field structures which includes many of the traditional diagnostics used to describe convection as well as some diagnostics tailored to capture the dynamics of the patterns. We use the ideas of precision and recall to build a statistical description of each pattern diagnostic's ability to describe the spatial variation of the leading Lyapunov vector. The precision of a diagnostic indicates the probability that it will locate a region where the Lyapunov vector is larger than a threshold value. The recall of a diagnostic indicates its ability to locate all of the possible spatial regions where the Lyapunov vector is above threshold. By varying the threshold used for the Lyapunov vector magnitude, we generate precision-recall curves which we use to quantify the complex relationship between the pattern diagnostics and the spatiotemporally varying magnitude of the leading Lyapunov vector. We find that pattern diagnostics which include information regarding the flow history outperform pattern diagnostics that do not. In particular, an emerging target defect has the highest precision of all of the pattern diagnostics we have explored.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number0531031
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Mathematical Physics


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