Feedback control of unstable periodic orbits in equivariant Hopf bifurcation problems

C. M. Postlethwaite*, G. Brown, M. Silber

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Symmetry-breaking Hopf bifurcation problems arise naturally in studies of pattern formation. These equivariant Hopf bifurcations may generically result in multiple solution branches bifurcating simultaneously from a fully symmetric equilibrium state. The equivariant Hopf bifurcation theorem classifies these solution branches in terms of their symmetries, which may involve a combination of spatial transformations and temporal shifts. In this paper, we exploit these spatio-temporal symmetries to design non-invasive feedback controls to select and stabilize a targeted solution branch, in the event that it bifurcates unstably. The approach is an extension of the Pyragas delayed feedback method, as it was developed for the generic subcritical Hopf bifurcation problem. Restrictions on the types of groups where the proposed method works are given. After addition of the appropriately optimized feedback term, we are able to compute the stability of the targeted solution using standard bifurcation theory, and give an account of the parameter regimes in which stabilization is possible. We conclude by demonstrating our results with a numerical example involving symmetrically coupled identical nonlinear oscillators.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number20120467
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Issue number1999
StatePublished - Sep 28 2013


  • Coupled oscillators
  • Symmetric Hopf bifurcation
  • Time-delayed feedback control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • General Mathematics


Dive into the research topics of 'Feedback control of unstable periodic orbits in equivariant Hopf bifurcation problems'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this