If one end of a one-dimensional excitable medium is forced periodically via impulsive stimuli, the usual response is a periodic wavetrain of propagating pulses. When the forcing period is large, the pulses are uniformly spaced and have identical propagation speed. If the forcing period B becomes critically small, the periodic wavetrain may lose stability via a period-doubling bifurcation that occurs at the stimulus site. In certain contexts (e.g., if the excitable medium is cardiac tissue), it is desirable to stabilize the periodic wavetrain solution by perturbing B, adjusting the timing of the nth stimulus by some small amount ϵn. Previous studies have suggested that if the stimuli are delivered at a single point, then stabilization is possible only in some small radius of the stimulus site. In this article, we explain why controlling global spatiotemporal dynamics via locally applied feedback control (i.e., perturbations to B at the stimulus site) is so difficult. Not only does our analysis reveal why traditional feedback control typically fails, it leads to a constructive algorithm for selecting the perturbations ϵn in such a way that stabilization of the periodic wavetrain can succeed.

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publisher Statement

Copyright © 2014 WSEAS Press.

The definitive version is available at: http://www.wseas.org/wseas/cms.action?id=7618

Full Citation:

Cain, John W. "Using Local Feedback Control to Stabilize Global Behavior in Excitable Media." In Computers and Mathematics in Automation and Materials Science : Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Applied Mathematics and Informatics (AMATHI '14), Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Automotive and Transportation Systems (ICAT '14), Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Materials Science (MATERIALS '14, 22-29. Proceedings of Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Applied Mathematics and Informatics, Cambridge, MA. WSEAS Press, 2014.