Numerical investigation of stability of breather-type solutions of the nonlinear Schrödinger equation
In this article we conduct a broad numerical investigation of stability of breather-type solutions of the nonlinear Schrödinger (NLS) equation, a widely used model of rogue wave generation and dynamics in deep water. NLS breathers rising over an unstable background state are frequently used to model rogue waves. However, the issue of whether these solutions are robust with respect to the kind of random perturbations occurring in physical settings and laboratory experiments has just recently begun to be addressed. Numerical experiments for spatially periodic breathers with one or two modes involving large ensembles of perturbed initial data for six typical random perturbations suggest interesting conclusions. Breathers over an unstable background with N unstable modes are generally unstable to small perturbations in the initial data unless they are "maximal breathers" (i.e., they have N spatial modes). Additionally, among the maximal breathers with two spatial modes, the one of highest amplitude due to coalescence of the modes appears to be the most robust. The numerical observations support and extend to more realistic settings the results of our previous stability analysis, which we hope will provide a useful tool for identifying physically realizable wave forms in experimental and observational studies of rogue waves.