In: Rozenberg, G.: Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Vol. 674; Advances in Petri Nets 1993, pages 91-125. Springer-Verlag, 1993.
Abstract: A relationship between Petri nets and discrete-event systems is outlined. Previous attempts at providing a diagrammatic description of discrete-event systems are critically reviewed. For a Petri-net design, the extent of detail to be provided, the representation of decisions and the precise interpretation of a state, all emerge as problematic. The type of Petri net proposed here, the Devnet, takes as its aim the description of the entity-flow logic of a general simulation program, involving a reinterpretation of transition enablement and firing. Facilities to incorporate the representation of higher system complexity, leading up to the concept of transitions with disjunctive sides, are described with examples. Particular difficulties, such as the representation of temporal expressions and modular decomposition are discussed. The special relationship between the Devnet and the control of activation in the implementation of the simulation language Simian is examined, especially in relation to the latter's circumspect approach to object advancement. Finally, some questions are posed and some speculation is indulged in as to where this approach may be useful in other fields.
Keywords: Circumspect token; control structures; discrete-event simulation; engagement strategy; entity interaction; firing strategy; net implementation; object net; parallelism; processes; program activation; Simian language; simulation complexity; temporal expressions.
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