This thesis deals with rigorous mathematical techniques for higher-dimensional nonsmooth systems and their applications. The dynamical behaviour of these systems is a nonlocal problem due to the lack of smoothness.\ud Motivated by various examples of nonsmooth systems in applications, we propose to explore the concept of invariant surfaces in the phase space which is separated by a discontinuity hypersurface. For such systems the corresponding Poincaré map can be determined; it turns out that under suitable conditions an invariant cone occurs which is characterized by a fixed point of the Poincaré map. The invariant cone seems to serve in a similar way as a generalisation of the classical center manifold for smooth differential systems. Hence, the stability of the whole system can be reduced to investigate the stability on the two-dimensional surface of the cone.\ud Motivated to study the generation of invariant cones out of smooth systems, a numerical procedure to establish invariant cones and their stability is presented. It has been found that the flat degenerate cone in a smooth system develops under nonsmooth perturbations into a cone-like configuration. Also a simple example is used to explain a paradoxical situation concerning stability. Theoretical results concerning the existence of invariant cones and possible mechanisms responsible for the observed behavior for general three dimensional nonsmooth systems are discussed. These investigations reveal that the system possesses a rich dynamic behavior and new phenomena such as, for instance, the existence of multiple invariant cones for such system.\ud \ud Our approach is developed to include the case when sliding motion takes place on the manifold. Sliding dynamical equations are formulated by using Filippov's method. Existence of invariant cones containing a segment of sliding orbits are given as well as stability on these cones. Different sliding bifurcation scenarios are treated by theoretical analysis and simulation.\ud \ud As an application we have investigated the dynamics of an automotive brake system model under the excitation of dry friction force which has served as a motivating example to develop our concepts. This model belongs to the class of nonsmooth systems of Filippov type which is investigated from direct crossing and a sliding motion point of view. Existence of invariant cones and different types of bifurcation phenomena such as sliding periodic doubling and multiple periodic orbits are observed.\ud \ud Finally, extensions to nonlinear perturbations of nonsmooth linear systems have been obtained by using the nonsmooth linear system as basic system. If the basic system possesses an attractive invariant cone without sliding motion, we have shown that locally the Poincaré map contains the necessary information with regard to attractivity of the invariant cone. The existence of a generalized center manifold reduction of nonlinear system has been proven by using Hadamard graph transformation approach. A class of nonlinear systems having a cone-like invariant "manifold" is presented to illustrate the center manifold reduction and associated bifurcation. The scientific contributions of parts of this thesis are presented in [32,39,66].\u
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