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CPN Centre-of-Excellence

The Danish National Centre for IT Research (CIT) and the University of Aarhus (AU) have established a Centre-of-Excellence within modelling, validation, and capacity planning of concurrent and distributed systems. The centre cooperates with research units in leading IT companies such as Nokia, Microsoft, Ericsson and Hewlett-Packard. The centre is located in the new IT-park in Katrinebjerg, Aarhus, Denmark and it constitutes one of the strongest groups for industrial use of formal methods. The centre has existed since the end of 1997 and the staff now encompasses more than 15 people. From the beginning of 2002 the CPN Centre is part of Center for Pervasive Computing.

Most modern computing systems are distributed, and a current trend is that they become more and more pervasive. A common property of these systems is that they are extremely complex to design, debug, and maintain. One way to cope with this challenge is to test and further develop the different design proposals by creating a number of models/prototypes which can be manipulated and executed in a computer. In this way it becomes possible to investigate how the system design works before the implementation starts. The result is an improved understanding of key design issues, fewer design errors, faster implementation, better documentation, and easier maintenance.

Coloured Petri Nets (CP-nets or CPNs) provide a framework for the construction and analysis of concurrent and distributed systems. CP-nets have a wide range of application areas and many CPN projects have been carried out in the industry.

The work within the CPN centre focuses on three main areas:

The centre is based on the expertise of the CPN group at University of Aarhus. The work is organised as a number of projects in which CP-nets and other formal methods are used for modelling and analysis of systems. A typical project runs for 6-12 months and cooperates with an ongoing development project at one of the industrial partners. A project could, e.g., be the design and validation of the communication and synchronisation in a new system, or it could be performance analysis and capacity planning of a system. The choice of projects is based on the needs of the participating companies.

Report for 2002

Report for 2001

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