**Editors: Alberto Porta, Mathias Baumert, Dirk Cysarz and Niels Wessel **

The issue presents techniques to symbolize time series, create symbolic patterns, squeeze patterns into a small number of families and calculate dynamical invariants from symbolic series. Both univariate and multivariate applications are covered to stress the ability of the approach to assess complexity and describe interactions among system constituents. The issue aims at providing practical and creative strategies facing the dynamical complexity in contexts where little is known about the physics of the system and the relations among subunits. These strategies enhance meaningful dynamical features of complex systems otherwise hardly disentangled by traditional signal processing tools. The utility of symbolic computation is made clear though a variety of applications ranging from neurosciences to cardiovascular physiology, from spatially extended networks to applied linguistics, from combustion engines to psychiatry.

*Cover image: US Navy version of Turing-bombe used against the German cipher machine Enigma-M4 during World War II to decode encrypted messages. A Turing machine, manipulating symbols on a strip of tape according to a table of rules, can be considered a precursor of the mathematical procedures performing symbolic analysis to extract information from dynamical complex systems.*

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## Also of interest

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