Su LiuFollow

Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Computer Science

First Advisor's Name

Xudong He

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Shu-Ching Chen

Third Advisor's Name

Peter J Clarke

Fourth Advisor's Name

Jinpeng Wei

Fifth Advisor's Name

Armando Barreto


Petri Net, Formal Method, Model Checking

Date of Defense



Petri Nets are a formal, graphical and executable modeling technique for the specification and analysis of concurrent and distributed systems and have been widely applied in computer science and many other engineering disciplines. Low level Petri nets are simple and useful for modeling control flows but not powerful enough to define data and system functionality. High level Petri nets (HLPNs) have been developed to support data and functionality definitions, such as using complex structured data as tokens and algebraic expressions as transition formulas. Compared to low level Petri nets, HLPNs result in compact system models that are easier to be understood. Therefore, HLPNs are more useful in modeling complex systems.

There are two issues in using HLPNs - modeling and analysis. Modeling concerns the abstracting and representing the systems under consideration using HLPNs, and analysis deals with effective ways study the behaviors and properties of the resulting HLPN models. In this dissertation, several modeling and analysis techniques for HLPNs are studied, which are integrated into a framework that is supported by a tool.

For modeling, this framework integrates two formal languages: a type of HLPNs called Predicate Transition Net (PrT Net) is used to model a system's behavior and a first-order linear time temporal logic (FOLTL) to specify the system's properties. The main contribution of this dissertation with regard to modeling is to develop a software tool to support the formal modeling capabilities in this framework.

For analysis, this framework combines three complementary techniques, simulation, explicit state model checking and bounded model checking (BMC). Simulation is a straightforward and speedy method, but only covers some execution paths in a HLPN model. Explicit state model checking covers all the execution paths but suffers from the state explosion problem. BMC is a tradeoff as it provides a certain level of coverage while more efficient than explicit state model checking. The main contribution of this dissertation with regard to analysis is adapting BMC to analyze HLPN models and integrating the three complementary analysis techniques in a software tool to support the formal analysis capabilities in this framework.

The SAMTools developed for this framework in this dissertation integrates three tools: PIPE+ for HLPNs behavioral modeling and simulation, SAMAT for hierarchical structural modeling and property specification, and PIPE+Verifier for behavioral verification.



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