Skip to main content

Real-time software specification and validation with Transnet


The paper presents the executable specification method for real-time (embedded) systems Transnet. The method is based on an extension to Petri nets. A specification is developed by a problem decomposition into a set of parallel processes. Each process is defined by an extended Petri net with functions assigned to transitions, and conditions and time constants assigned to arcs. It is shown that Transnet matches with the characteristics of the intended class of applications. The available specification languages and the internal representation of data which describe the functional as well as nonfunctional requirements are outlined. The advantages of the Petri net-based representation and the possibilities of automatic net analysis and early validation are discussed.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  • Alford, M. W. 1977. A requirements engineering methodology for real-time processing requirements.IEEE Trans. Software Eng., Jan.: 60–69.

  • Berthomieu, B., and Diaz, M. 1991. Modeling and verification of time dependent systems using time Petri nets.IEEE Trans. Software Eng., March: 259–273.

  • Coolahan, J. E., and Roussopoulos, N. 1983. Timing requirements for time-driven systems using augmented Petri nets.IEEE Trans. Software Eng., Sept.: 603–616.

  • Genrich, H. J. 1987. Predicate/Transition nets. In (Brauer, W., Reisig, W., and Rozenberg, G. eds).Advances in Petri nets 1986, LNCS 254. Springer-Verlag, pp. 207–247.

  • Ghezzi, C., et al., 1991. A unified high-level Petri net formalism for time-critical systems.IEEE Trans. Software Eng., Feb.: 160–172.

  • Harel, D., et al., 1990. Statemate: A working environment for the development of complex reactive systems.IEEE Trans. Software Eng., April: 403–414.

  • IEEE Standard Computer Dictionary. 1990. New York: IEEE.

  • Jensen, K. 1991. Coloured Petri nets: A high level language for system design and analysis. In (Rozenberg, G. ed).Advances in Petri nets 1990, LNCS 483. Springer-Verlag, pp. 342–416.

  • Merlin, P., and Faber, D. J. 1976. Recoverability of communication protocols.IEEE Trans. Commun., Sept.

  • Peterson, J. L. 1981.Petri Net Theory and Modeling of Systems. Prentice-Hall.

  • Ramchandani, C. 1974. Analysis of asynchronous concurrent systems by timed Petri nets. Massachusets Inst. Technol. Tech. Rep. 120, Feb.

  • Sacha, K. 1994. Real-Time Specification Using Petri Nets. Submitted forEUROMICRO'93.

  • Sacha, K. 1992. Transformational implementation of PAISLey specifications using Petri nets.Software Eng. Journal, May: 191–204.

  • Sacha, K. 1991. Transnet: A method for transformational development of embedded software.Microprocessing and Microprogramming, 32:617–624.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ward, P. T. 1986. The transformation schema: An extension of the data flow diagram to represent control and timing.IEEE Trans. Software Eng., Feb.: 198–210.

  • Zave, P. 1991. An Insider's Evaluation of PAISLey.IEEE Trans. Software Eng., March: 212–225.

  • Zave, P. 1982. An Operational Approach to Requirements Specification for Embedded Systems.IEEE Trans. Software Eng., May: 250–269.

  • Zave, P., and Shell, W. 1986. Salient features of an executable specification language and its environment.IEEE Trans. Software Eng., Feb.: 312–325.

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Sacha, K.M. Real-time software specification and validation with Transnet. Real-Time Syst 6, 153–172 (1994).

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


  • Real-time
  • requirements specification
  • early validation
  • Petri net
  • net analysis