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The objective of this work is to develop some tools for local instability analysis of multiple critical points, which can be computationally carried out. The Morse index can be used to measure local instability of a nondegenerate saddle point. However, it is very expensive to compute numerically and is ineffective for degenerate critical points. A local (weak) linking index can also be defined to measure local instability of a (degenerate) saddle point. But it is still too difficult to compute.doi:10.1090/s0025-5718-04-01694-1 fatcat:qjoott57ivg5ddxjkxcmiim75y