Additive Noise Destroys a Pitchfork Bifurcation

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Abstract

In the deterministic pitchfork bifurcation the dynamical behavior of the system changes as the parameter crosses the bifurcation point. The stable fixed point loses its stability. Two new stable fixed points appear. The respective domains of attraction of those two fixed points split the state space into two macroscopically distinct regions. It is shown here that this bifurcation of the dynamical behavior disappears as soon as additive white noise of arbitrarily small intensity is incorporated the model. The dynamical behavior of the disturbed system remains the same for all parameter values. In particular, the system has a (random) global attractor, and this attractor is a one-point set for all parameter values. For any parameter value all solutions converge to each other almost surely (uniformly in bounded sets). No splitting of the state space into distinct regions occurs, not even into random ones. This holds regardless of the intensity of the disturbance.

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