The inverse integrating factor and the Poincaré map
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This work is concerned with planar real analytic differential systems with an analytic inverse integrating factor defined in a neighborhood of a regular orbit. We show that the inverse integrating factor defines an ordinary differential equation for the transition map along the orbit. When the regular orbit is a limit cycle, we can determine its associated Poincar´e return map in terms of the inverse integrating factor. In particular, we show that the multiplicity of a limit cycle coincides with the vanishing multiplicity of an inverse integrating factor over it. We also apply this result to study the homoclinic loop bifurcation. We only consider homoclinic loops whose critical point is a hyperbolic saddle and whose Poincar´e return map is not the identity. A local analysis of the inverse integrating factor in a neighborhood of the saddle allows us to determine the cyclicity of this polycycle in terms of the vanishing multiplicity of an inverse integrating factor over it. Our result also applies in the particular case in which the saddle of the homoclinic loop is linearizable, that is, the case in which a bound for the cyclicity of this graphic cannot be determined through an algebraic method.