Università di Torino

in cooperation with
Di.S.T.A. - Università del Piemonte Orientale, Alessandria

GRaphical Editor and Analyzer for Timed and Stochastic Petri Nets


Our sponsors:

Ansaldo Segnalamento Ferroviario, Napoli, Italy

Telecom Italia Lab, Torino, Italy

Centro Elettrotecnico Sperimentale Italiano, Milano, Italy

- Introducing GreatSPN

What is GreatSPN
GreatSPN2.0 is a software package for the modeling, validation, and performance evaluation of distributed systems using Generalized Stochastic Petri Nets and their colored extension: Stochastic Well-formed Nets. The tool provides a friendly framework to experiment with timed Petri net based modeling techniques. It implements efficient analysis algorithms to allow its use on rather complex applications, not only toy examples.

GreatSPN2.0 is composed of many separate programs that cooperate in the construction and analysis of PN models by sharing files. Using network file system capabilities, different analysis modules can be run on different machines in a distributed computing environment. The modular structure of GreatSPN2.0 makes it open to the addition of new analysis modules as new reserch results become available. All modules are written in the C programming language to guarantee portability and efficiency on different Unix machines. All solution modules use special storage techniques to save memory both for intermediate result files and for program data structures.

Several state-of-the-art analysis prototypes have been recently added in the package: an algorithm for the fast computation of performance bounds based on linear programming techniques, working at a purely structural level (the computed bounds depend only on the average firing delay of the transitions while they do not depend on the p.d.f. of such delays); algorithms for the analysis of Stochastic Well-formed Nets providing the user with the possibility of designing models of complex systems in a more compact way, and allowing a more efficient state space analysis that automatically exploits the model symmetries (through the Symbolic RG concept).

Furthermore, the graphical interface has been recently ported under OSF Motif achieving high portability under different hardware platforms.

Hardware and software required to run GreatSPN 2.0
This package has been compiled at our site using :
  • SunOS 4.1.3 (SPARC)
    gcc 2.5.8
    Motif 1.2
  • SunOS 5.5, 5.6, 5.7, 5.8 (SPARC)
    gcc 2.7.2
    Motif 1.2
  • SunOS 5.5.1, 5.6 (INTEL)
    gcc 2.7.2
    Motif 1.2
  • Linux Redhat, Slackware, Mandrake, SuSe (INTEL)
    Motif 2.0

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- GreatSPN main features

The main functions of the tool can be outlined as follows:
  • graphical interface running under OSF Motif 1.2 (or later) allows:
    • graphical model editing including layering, cut and paste, selection, rotation, rescaling, spline, zooming, improved printing in PostScript, etc.
    • graphical representation of structural properties
    • interactive token game for PNs with priorities and inhibitor arcs (not for colored nets for the moment)
    • access to the model data base, with cut and paste options for submodels
    • definition of timing and stochastic specifications, parameters, and performance measures
    • menu-driven interaction with analysis modules
    • graphical representation of performance results
    • graphical interactive simulation of timed and stochastic models (not for colored nets for the moment)
  • structural properties for nets with priorities and inhibitor arcs (not for colored nets for the moment)
    • Place- and Transition- invariants
    • deadlocks and traps
    • implicit places
    • causal connection and structural conflict
    • mutual exclusion
    • Extended Conflict Set (ECS) and structural confusion
    • structural boundedness and unbounded transition sequences
  • linear programming performance bounds for timed P/T nets (not for colored nets for the moment): upper and lower bounds for transition throughputs and average place markings
  • reachability graph generation and analysis programs
    • home space, deadlocks, and livelocks
    • transition liveness degree
  • Markovian solvers for steady-state as well as transient performance evaluation exploiting efficient, sparse matrix numerical techniques.
  • simulation modules for interactive event-driven simulation (not for colored nets for the moment). In cooperation with the graphical interface, they provide
    • interactive simulation, with graphical animation of the model and movement of tokens, with step-by-step, and automatic run, forward and backward time progression, real time update of performance figures, arbitrary rescheduling of events.
    • batch simulation, with periodic sampling and real time update of performance figures on the graphical interface and computation of confidence intervals
    The simulation state is periodically saved on a file, so that previous simulation runs can be resumed at any time. Several probability distributions are allowed for transition timings (including uniform, discrete, Cox, Erlang, etc.).
  • well-formed colored nets analysis prototypes
    • construction of colored and symbolic reachability graph, conversion into lumped Markov chain, steady state and transient Markovian analysis
    • colored and symbolic simulation
The following items are Now Available!!
  • Nets composition through algebra
  • Multiple experiments management through multisolve

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-How to obtain the package

At the moment we are distributing two versions of the package GreatSPN 1.6 (Sun OS) and GreatSPN2.0 (Sun OS and Solaris).
The package is available for free for universities and non-profit organizations, while it can be purchased from the Dipartimento di Informatica, Università di Torino (Italy) by other organizations/companies. The procedure to obtain it is the the following.
  1. Extract the licence agreement ( latex file or postscript file , PDF file ), print it, and return it signed by the responsible of your institution to
    the greatSPN staff
    Dipartimento di Informatica
    Università di Torino
    Fax Number: (+39)(011)(751603)
  2. Send either by electronic mail (greatspn@di.unito.it) or by fax the name and the Internet address of the machine you will use to connect to our server.
  3. Upon their receipt we will send you an e-mail message containing all the necessary information to retrieve the source code of the package and its documentation.

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- GreatSPN User Manual

Click here to get the NEW (October 2001) Getting Started manual of GreatSPN2.0 (either as PDF or PostScript). The (almost) complete manual is HERE

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- Bibliography

Papers on the Package
  • G. Chiola, G. Franceschinis, R. Gaeta, and M. Ribaudo.
    GreatSPN 1.7: Graphical Editor and Analyzer for Timed and Stochastic Petri Nets.
    Performance Evaluation, special issue on Performance Modeling Tools, 24(1&2):47--68, November 1995.
  • S.Bernardi, S.Donatelli, and A.Horvàth.
    Compositionality in the GreatSPN tool and its use to the modelling of industrial applications.
    Accepted for publication on Software Tools for Technology Transfer
Papers on the GSPN and SWN formalisms
  • M. Ajmone Marsan, G. Balbo, and G. Conte.
    A class of generalized stochastic Petri nets for the performance analysis of multiprocessor systems.
    ACM Transactions on Computer Systems, 2(1), May 1984.
  • M. Ajmone Marsan, G. Balbo, G. Conte, S. Donatelli, and G. Franceschinis.
    Modelling with Generalized Stochastic Petri Nets. J. Wiley, 1995.
  • G. Chiola, J. Campos, J.M. Colom, M. Silva, and C. Anglano.
    Operational analysis of timed Petri nets and applications to the computation of performance bounds.
    In Proc. 5th Intern. Workshop on Petri Nets and Performance Models, Toulouse, France, October 1993. IEEE-CS Press.
  • G. Chiola, C. Dutheillet, G. Franceschinis, and S. Haddad.
    Stochastic well-formed coloured nets for symmetric modelling applications.
    IEEE Transactions on Computers, 42(11):1343--1360, November 1993.
  • G. Chiola, M. Ajmone Marsan, G. Balbo, and G. Conte.
    Generalized stochastic Petri nets: A definition at the net level and its implications.
    IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, 19(2):89--107, February 1993.
  • R. Gaeta, and G. Chiola.
    Efficient simulation of SWN models.
    In Proc. 6th Intern. Workshop on Petri Nets and Performance Models, Durham, U.S.A., October 1995. IEEE-CS Press.
  • R. Gaeta, Efficient discrete-event simulation of colored Petri nets,
    IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, 22(9), September 1996
  • G.Chiola, C.Dutheillet, G.Franceschinis, and S.Haddad.
    A Symbolic Reachability Graph for Coloured Petri Nets.
    Theoretical Computer Science B (Logic, semantics and theory of programming), 176 (1&2):39-65, April 1997, Elsevier.
  • M.Ajmone Marsan, S.Donatelli, G.Franceschinis, and F.Neri.
    Reductions in Generalized Stochastic Petri Nets and Stochastic Well-formed Nets: An Overview and an Example of Application.
    In The State-of-the-art in Performance Modeling and Simulation: Network Theory, Tools and Tutorials, J. Walrand, K. Bagchi and G. Zobrist (editors). Gordon and Breach Publishers INC., 1997
Case Studies with GSPN and SWNs
  • C.Anglano, S. Donatelli, G.Franceschinis and O.Botti
    Performance prediction of a reconfigurable high voltage substation simulator: a case study using SWN
    In Proc. 7th International Workshop on Petri Nets and Performance M odels, St. Malo, France , june 1997.
  • R.Gaeta and M.Ajmone Marsan,
    SWN Analysis and Simulation of Large Knockout ATM Switches,
    Volume 1420 of LNCS, Proc. of 19th International Conference on Application and Theory of Petri Nets. Springer-Verlag, June 1998.
  • G. Franceschinis, C. Bertoncello, G. Bruno, G. Lungo Vaschetti and A. Pigozzi
    SWN models of a contact center: a case study. In Proc. 9th International Workshop on Petri Nets and Performance Mo dels, Aachen, Germany, September 2001
  • A. Bobbio, G. Franceschinis, R. Gaeta and G. Portinale
    Dependability Assessment of an Industrial Programmable Logic Controller via Parametric Fault-Tree and High Level Petri Net In Proc. 9th International Workshop on Petri Nets and Performance Mo dels, Aachen, Germany, September 2001

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