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On the Critical Coupling Strength for Kuramoto Oscillators


F. Dörfler, F. Bullo

American Control Conference, San Francisco, CA, USA, pp. 3239-3244

The celebrated Kuramoto model captures various synchronization phenomena in biological and man-made dynamical systems of coupled oscillators. It is well-known that there exists a critical coupling strength among the oscillators at which a phase transition from incoherency to synchronization occurs. This paper features three contributions. First, we characterize and distinguish the different notions of synchronization used throughout the literature and formally introduce the concept of phase cohesiveness as an analysis tool and performance index for synchronization. Second, we review the vast literature providing necessary, sufficient, implicit, and explicit estimates of the critical coupling strength in the finite and infinitedimensional case. Finally, we present the first explicit necessary and sufficient condition on the critical coupling strength to achieve synchronization in the finite-dimensional Kuramoto model for an arbitrary distribution of the natural frequencies. The multiplicative gap in the synchronization condition yields a practical stability result determining the admissible initial and the guaranteed ultimate phase cohesiveness as well as the guaranteed asymptotic magnitude of the order parameter.


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% Autogenerated BibTeX entry
@InProceedings { D_rBul:2011:IFA_4918,
    author={F. D{\"o}rfler and F. Bullo},
    title={{On the Critical Coupling Strength for Kuramoto Oscillators}},
    booktitle={American Control Conference},
    address={San Francisco, CA, USA},
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