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Volume 3, Practical Use

Review (to appear in Computing Reviews 1999)

JENSEN, KURT (Aarhus Univ., Aarhus, Denmark)

Coloured Petri nets: basic concepts, analysis methods and practical use, vol. 3.

Springer-Verlag, London, UK, 1997, 265 pp., ISBN 3-540-62867-3. [Monographs in theoretical computer science ­ an EATCS series.]

This book completes the series of three volumes on Coloured Petri nets (CP-nets). The first volume presents the CPN model; the second volume describes analysis methods; this volume presents several examples, that illustrate the use of the theory in different applicative environments. This volume requires familiarity with CP-nets. I strongly recommend a careful study of the first volume before reading this one. Familiarity with the second volume can help, but I do not think that it is required to understand this volume. Some familiarity with the second volume is needed only to understand the details of analysis based on occurrence graphs, that is given only for few of the case studies of the book.

This volume presents nineteen case studies taken from different applicative environments. Most of the material described in this book has been previously published, but the book is not a simple collection of papers. Each case study is described using the same notation and the same presentation style. Unlike most collections of case studies, that force the readers to adapt to several annoying variation of the same model and to different styles of presentations, in this volume all case studies refer to the CPN syntax described in volume one and are presented with the same style. Readers slide smoothly through the book and can easily compare results and solutions.

The presentation of each case study is articulated in four main sections: informal presentation, CPN model, validation, conclusions. The informal presentation of the problem frames the example and provides references to related publications. Readers can understand the problem before studying the CPN model. The presentation of the CPN model shows the general structure of the CPN model and gives the details of few interesting components, leaving out unnecessary details. Validation mostly illustrates results of simulation. In some cases the book presents also the occurrence graph. In few cases validation is based on other techniques tailored to the specific application. For some cases, validation is not specifically discussed. Presentation of implementation issues is limited to the first example. Conclusions provide interesting comments and data on the case studies. In several cases, the book gives many interesting details, too often ignored in similar books. Many practitioners and theoreticians may find particularly interesting the notes about the effort required for training, modeling, analysis, implementation.

The presented examples range from control systems, such as the Security System presented in Chapter one, the Electronic Funds Transfer System described in Chapter fourteen, and the Chemical Production System described in Chapter eighteen; to network and protocols, such as the Usage Parameter Control Algorithm for ATM Networks presented in Chapter two the BeoLink Protocol of Bang and Olufsen presented in Chapter three, the ISDN Supplementary Services described in Chapter six, the Intelligent Network described in Chapter seven, the Gateway between a Tactical Packet Radio Network and an ISDN network described in Chapter eight, the Basic Rate Interface protocol for ISDN networks described in Chapter nine, and the network management system described in Chapter sixteen; data processing, such as the On-Line Transaction Processing Applications described in Chapter four and the Document Storage System described in Chapter twelve; hardware design, such as the VLSI chip described in Chapter ten and the Arbiter Cascade described in chapter eleven; algorithm verification, such as the mutual exclusion problem described in Chapter five; system modeling, such as the Distributed Program Execution Protocol described in Chapter thirteen, the Bank Courier Network Described in Chapter fifteen, the Naval Vessel described in Chapter seventeen, and the Nuclear Waste Management Programme described in Chapter nineteen.

This book is a natural completion of the Jensen's mini series on CPN. It is for theoreticians looking after applicability of the theory, and for practitioners interested in understanding how theory impact on applications. It benefits form the excellent presentation style of Kurt Jensen, and, from a good typographical presentation, as all the books of the Springer Verlag EATCS series. It is not designed as a textbook, but it can be suggested as a completion of the former two books on CPNs.This page contains the final versions of the papers that have been accepted for presentation at CPN Workshop, June 10-12, Aarhus Denmark. Some of the best papers from the workshop has (after an additional round of reviewing and revision) been published in a Special Section on Coloured Petri Nets in the International Journal on Software Tools for Technology Transfer (STTT).

- M. Pezzé, Milan, Italy



The contents of this volume are application oriented. The volume contains a detailed presentation of 19 applications of CP-nets, covering a broad range of application areas. Most of the projects have been carried out in an industrial setting. The volume presents the most important ideas and experiences from the projects, in a way which is useful also for readers who do not yet have personal experience with the construction and analysis of large CPN models. The volume demonstrates the feasibility of using CP-nets and the CPN tools for industrial projects.

The presentation of the projects is based upon material provided by the persons who have accomplished the individual projects. At the beginning of each chapter, we list their names and we say where the original material has been published. The original material often contains more elaborate information, e.g., about details of the modelled system and related work.

I have edited the material provided by the original authors. I have modified some of the CP-nets, e.g., to improve the layout and use more mnemonic names. In some cases, I have also changed a few net components, e.g., merged two transitions or introduced a Standard ML function for operations that are used in many arc expressions. These modifications make the CP-nets more appropriate as study material, but they do not change the essential behaviour of the CPN models.

The terminology in the original material has been modified to fit the terminology introduced in the first two volumes of this book. Redundancies with the material of the other volumes have been removed, e.g., the explanation of what a hierarchical CP-net is and how the CPN tools work. The typography has been modified to match that used for the other parts of the book. More detailed explanations have been added, e.g., of some of the CPN models and some of the analysis results. This has been possible since, Vols. 1 and 2 have given the readers a much more thorough knowledge of CP-nets than readers of ordinary research papers. Finally, it is discussed how some of the problems from the projects can be overcome or circumvented. Many of these problems have already been removed, e.g., by improvements of the CPN tools. Other problems can be avoided by a careful choice of modelling and analysis techniques.

The material has been modified in cooperation with the original authors and the final result has been approved by them. The conclusions and findings of the original papers have not been modified.

The CPN tools for occurrence graphs and performance analysis are rather new compared to the CPN editor and simulator. Nevertheless, they have been successfully used by several of the industrial projects reported in this volume. For place and transition invariants there is not yet adequate tool support, and hence they are much more infrequently used in practical projects.

ISBN: 3-540-62867-3

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