Universidad Miguel Hernández, Elche, Spain
University of Lübeck, Germany
Humboldt University of Berlin, and Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany
Symbolic dynamics is a powerful tool in the study of dynamical systems. The purpose of symbolic dynamics is to provide a simplified picture of complicated dynamics, that gives some insight into its complexity. To this end, the state space of the system is partitioned in a finite number of pieces, and the exact trajectories of individual points are traded off by the trajectory relative to that partition. These so-called coarse-grained trajectories turn out to be realisations of a stationary random process with a finite alphabet. In particular, the entropy of a dynamical system can be approximated by the Shannon entropy of any of its symbolic dynamics (the finer the partition, the better the approximation). Today, symbolic dynamics is an independent field of theoretical physics and applied mathematics with applications to such important disciplines as cryptology, time series analysis, and data-compression.
© EDP Sciences, Springer-Verlag, 2013