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The Practitioner's Guide to Coloured Petri Nets


Coloured Petri nets (CP-nets or CPNs) provide a framework for the design, specification, validation, and verification of systems. CP-nets have a wide range of application areas and many CPN projects have been carried out in industry, e.g., in the areas of communication protocols, operating systems, hardware designs, embedded systems, software system designs, and business process re-engineering.

Design/CPN is a graphical computer tool supporting the practical use of CP-nets. The tool supports the construction, simulation, and functional and performance analysis of CPN models. The tool is used by more than four hundred organisations in forty different countries - including one hundred commercial companies. It is available free of charge, also for commercial use.

This paper provides a comprehensive road map to the practical use of CP-nets and the Design/CPN tool. We give an informal introduction to the basic concepts and ideas underlying CP-nets. The key components and facilities of the Design/CPN tool are presented and their use illustrated. The paper is self-contained and does not assume any prior knowledge of Petri nets and CP-nets nor any experience with the Design/CPN tool.

Keywords: Introduction to CP-nets, Simulation, State spaces, Occurrence graphs, CP-nets with time, Hierarchical CP-nets, Tool support, Application, General.