[erlang-questions] Petri nets

Jörgen Brandt <>
Wed Jul 6 17:17:51 CEST 2016


And here the link to the library ...

https://github.com/joergen7/gen_pnet

On 06.07.2016 17:16, Jörgen Brandt wrote:
> Dear all,
> 
> recently I was curious about programming with Petri nets. I have
> the impression that concurrent nature of Petri nets would be
> extremely useful for many types of applications.
> 
> Also, with the gen_fsm and the gen_statem being part of Erlang's 
> standard library the idea of implementing application models in
> terms of behaviours filling in the missing callback functions
> while abstracting away the brittle parts concurrency and
> communication would have a strong appeal. Imho, Petri nets can be
> defined in exactly the same way.
> 
> This idea has also been discussed in a mailing list entry by Claus 
> Reinke [1] who happens to have written a paper about implementing 
> Petri nets in Haskell [2] in which he observes that functional 
> languages are well suited for implementing Petri nets and points
> out Erlang as a potential candidate also with regard to concurrency
> aspects.
> 
> In addition, I stumbled over a compelling blog post which
> motivates the use of Petri nets for application design in the
> context of telecommunication applications [3]. The author goes on
> to presents his Petri net programming library in C# and even has
> proposed a gen_pn behaviour for Erlang [4].
> 
> However, the aforementioned gen_pn library has not been touched
> for six years and the email from Claus Reinke has been sitting in
> the Erlang mailing list archives for 13 years (unanswered).
> 
> My question is, in your opinion, is the idea of using Petri nets as
> a programming model in Erlang just a bad idea? Or has the right
> library just not been conceived to date? Do you use Petri nets to
> sketch out an application's behavior but then translate it to a
> different model prior to implementation? How can a
> telecommunication-focused programming ecosystem have avoided Petri
> nets for such a long time while readily absorbing ever more flavors
> of state machines?
> 
> That said, I would be very glad to receive your feedback on a
> Petri net library I recently came up with. So you have something to
> base your criticism on (;
> 
> [1]
> http://erlang.org/pipermail/erlang-questions/2003-November/010704.html
>
> 
[2] http://community.haskell.org/~claus/publications/HCPN.html
> [3]
> https://aabs.wordpress.com/2010/03/10/programming-with-petri-nets/ 
> [4] https://github.com/aabs/gen_pn 
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