Chimeras in a network of three oscillator populations with varying network topology

Erik A. Martens

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


We study a network of three populations of coupled phase oscillators with identical frequencies. The populations interact nonlocally, in the sense that all oscillators are coupled to one another, but more weakly to those in neighboring populations than to those in their own population. Using this system as a model system, we discuss for the first time the influence of network topology on the existence of so-called chimera states. In this context, the network with three populations represents an interesting case because the populations may either be connected as a triangle, or as a chain, thereby representing the simplest discrete network of either a ring or a line segment of oscillator populations. We introduce a special parameter that allows us to study the effect of breaking the triangular network structure, and to vary the network symmetry continuously such that it becomes more and more chain-like. By showing that chimera states only exist for a bounded set of parameter values, we demonstrate that their existence depends strongly on the underlying network structures, and conclude that chimeras exist on networks with a chain-like character. c 2010 American Institute of Physics. [doi:10.1063/1.3499502]
Original languageEnglish
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)-
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


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