Stability is among the most important concepts in dynamical systems. Local stability is well-studied, whereas determining the 'global stability' of a nonlinear system is very challenging. Over the last few decades, many different ideas have been developed to address this issue, primarily driven by concrete applications. In particular, several disciplines suggested a web of concepts under the headline 'resilience'. Unfortunately, there are many different variants and explanations of resilience, and often, the definitions are left relatively vague, sometimes even deliberately. Yet, to allow for a structural development of a mathematical theory of resilience that can be used across different areas, one has to ensure precise starting definitions and provide a mathematical comparison of different resilience measures. In this work, we provide a systematic review of the most relevant indicators of resilience in the context of continuous dynamical systems, grouped according to their mathematical features. The indicators are also generalised to be applicable to any attractor. These steps are important to ensure a more reliable, quantitatively comparable and reproducible study of resilience in dynamical systems. Furthermore, we also develop a new concept of resilience against certain nonautonomous perturbations to demonstrate how one can naturally extend our framework. All the indicators are finally compared via the analysis of a classic scalar model from population dynamics to show that direct quantitative application-based comparisons are an immediate consequence of a detailed mathematical analysis.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Mathematics
StateAccepted/In press - 2023


  • Resilience
  • attractors
  • dynamical systems
  • stability


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