In: IEEE Trans. on Systems, Man and Cybernetics - Part B, Vol. 28, No. 5, pages 641-652. 1998.
Abstract: Computer systems in today's society require an increasing amount of embedded software and hardware systems. Their application has introduced new problems for the software engineer combined with the complexity of such systems. Especially the early stages of the software development process are vital for the successful implementation of computer systems, High-order Petri nets are introduced and extended as a powerful formalism for the specification and analysis of concurrent systems. A tool called SystemSpecs has been applied that supports rapid system prototyping with such nets. This survey article provides techniques for early systems analysis that can be used as a real-time system prototype for customer presentations. Small examples are extracted from industrial applications to indicate how the described techniques can be used. While the major disadvantage of typical net descriptions is their visual complexity that makes them useless for large distributed systems, the paper also describes how to find overly complex structures, and describes selected methods of how to refine such structures.
Keywords: Petri nets, complexity reduction, executable specifications, reactive systems, systems analysis, systems engineering.
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