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Converging to sets

  1. Jul 5, 2007 #1
    Back in the fractal craze, I wrote a simple application to generate the Mandelbrot set, and after way too many wasted hours, I noticed that the generating function frequently converged to sets of repeating values rather than single values. For example, for a 5 value convergent, the terms of the set are related by:

    f(x1) = f(x0)
    f(x2) = f(x1)
    f(x4) = f(x3)
    f(x0) = f(x4)

    I have two questions related to this:
    - Do sets of values that are related by these types of loops, have a name?
    - Do these types of convergents have any practical applications?

    Reason I ask is that I'm playing around with ideas for a "loopless" computer language and have come up with a few formulas that can eliminate iteration in specialized cases but these "poly-convergents" have always interested me as a potential way to directly calculate more complex states. Problem is though, I don't know what they're called.

    Thanks for any info
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 5, 2007 #2


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    It's called an "attracting cycle".

    As you adjust the parameters, you can watch the cycle "bifuricate"; e.g. you can watch a fixed point split into a two-cycle.
  4. Jul 5, 2007 #3
    Thanks Hurky
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