Permutation entropy: a natural complexity measure for time series

Phys Rev Lett. 2002 Apr 29;88(17):174102. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.88.174102. Epub 2002 Apr 11.


We introduce complexity parameters for time series based on comparison of neighboring values. The definition directly applies to arbitrary real-world data. For some well-known chaotic dynamical systems it is shown that our complexity behaves similar to Lyapunov exponents, and is particularly useful in the presence of dynamical or observational noise. The advantages of our method are its simplicity, extremely fast calculation, robustness, and invariance with respect to nonlinear monotonous transformations.