Springer, 2011

This book provides an introduction to discrete dynamical systems -- a framework of analysis commonly used in the fields of biology, demography, ecology, economics, engineering, finance, and physics. The book characterizes the fundamental factors that govern the qualitative and quantitative trajectories of a variety of deterministic, discrete dynamical systems, providing solution methods for systems that can be solved analytically and methods of qualitative analysis for systems that do not permit or necessitate an explicit solution. The analysis focuses initially on the characterization of the factors the govern the evolution of state variables in the elementary context of one-dimensional, first-order, linear, autonomous systems. The fundamental insights about the forces that affect the evolution of these elementary systems are subsequently generalized, and the determinants of the trajectory of multi-dimensional, nonlinear, higher-order, non-autonomous dynamical systems are established.