Non-atomic Transition Firing in Contextual Nets
The firing rule for Petri nets assumes instantaneous and simultaneous consumption and creation of tokens. In the context of ordinary Petri nets, this poses no particular problem because of the system’s asynchronicity, even if token creation occurs later than token consumption in the firing. With read arcs, the situation changes, and several different choices of semantics are possible. The step semantics introduced by Janicki and Koutny can be seen as imposing a two-phase firing scheme: first, the presence of the required tokens is checked, then consumption and production of tokens happens. Pursuing this approach further, we develop a more general framework based on explicitly splitting the phases of firing, allowing to synthesize coherent steps. This turns out to define a more general non-atomic semantics, which has important potential for safety as it allows to detect errors that were missed by the previous semantics. Then we study the characterization of partial-order processes feasible under one or the other semantics.
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