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We present the first algorithms that allow the estimation of non-negative Lyapunov exponents from an experimental time series. Lyapunov exponents, which provide a qualitative and quantitative characterization of dynamical behavior. are related to the exponentially fast divergence or convergence of nearby orbits in phase space. A system with one or more positive Lyapunov exponents is defined to be chaotic. ·Our method is rooted conceptually in a previously developed technique that could only bedoi:10.1016/0167-2789(85)90011-9 fatcat:lyhy7o5igfefxbeivjxppyit4i