On dynamic mode decomposition: Theory and applications

Jonathan H. Tu, Clarence Worth Rowley, Dirk M. Luchtenburg, Steven L. Brunton, J. Nathan Kutz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1037 Scopus citations


Originally introduced in the fluid mechanics community, dynamic mode decomposition (DMD) has emerged as a powerful tool for analyzing the dynamics of nonlinear systems. However, existing DMD theory deals primarily with sequential time series for which the measurement dimension is much larger than the number of measurements taken. We present a theoretical framework in which we define DMD as the eigendecomposition of an approximating linear operator. This generalizes DMD to a larger class of datasets, including nonsequential time series. We demonstrate the utility of this approach by presenting novel sampling strategies that increase computational effciency and mitigate the effects of noise, respectively. We also introduce the concept of linear consistency, which helps explain the potential pitfalls of applying DMD to rank-deficient datasets, illustrating with examples. Such computations are not considered in the existing literature but can be understood using our more general framework. In addition, we show that our theory strengthens the connections between DMD and Koopman operator theory. It also establishes connections between DMD and other techniques, including the eigensystem realization algorithm (ERA), a system identification method, and linear inverse modeling (LIM), a method from climate science. We show that under certain conditions, DMD is equivalent to LIM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)391-421
Number of pages31
JournalJournal of Computational Dynamics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Computational Mathematics


  • Dynamic mode decomposition
  • Koopman operator
  • Reduced-order models
  • Spectral analysis
  • Time series analysis


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