Articles | Volume 17, issue 6
16 Nov 2010
 | 16 Nov 2010

Characterizing the structure of nonlinear systems using gradual wavelet reconstruction

C. J. Keylock

Abstract. In this paper, classical surrogate data methods for testing hypotheses concerning nonlinearity in time-series data are extended using a wavelet-based scheme. This gives a method for systematically exploring the properties of a signal relative to some metric or set of metrics. A signal continuum is defined from a linear variant of the original signal (same histogram and approximately the same Fourier spectrum) to the exact replication of the original signal. Surrogate data are generated along this continuum with the wavelet transform fixing in place an increasing proportion of the properties of the original signal. Eventually, chaotic or nonlinear behaviour will be preserved in the surrogates. The technique permits various research questions to be answered and examples covered in the paper include identifying a threshold level at which signals or models for those signals may be considered similar on some metric, analysing the complexity of the Lorenz attractor, characterising the differential sensitivity of metrics to the presence of multifractality for a turbulence time-series, and determining the amplitude of variability of the Hölder exponents in a multifractional Brownian motion that is detectable by a calculation method. Thus, a wide class of analyses of relevance to geophysics can be undertaken within this framework.