Distributed Software System Design Representation Using Modified Petri Nets

Stephen S. Yau, Mehmet U. Caglayan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


A model for representing and analyzing the design of a distributed software system is presented. The model is based on a modified form of Petri net, and enables one to represent both the structure and the behavior of a distributed software system at a desired level of design. Behavioral properties of the design representation can be verified by translating the modified Petri net into an equivalent ordinary Petri net and then analyzing that resulting Petri net. The model emphasizes the unified representation of control and data flows, partially ordered software components, hierarchical component structure, abstract data types, data objects, local control, and distributed system state. At any design level, the distributed software system is viewed as a collection of software components. Software components are externally described in terms of their input and output control states, abstract data types, data objects, and a set of control and data transfer specifications. They are interconnected through the shared control states and through the shared data objects. A system component can be viewed internally as a collection of subcomponents, local control states, local abstract data types, and local data objects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)733-745
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Software Engineering
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1983
Externally publishedYes


  • Control flow and data flow
  • design analysis
  • distributed software system
  • modified Petri net
  • software design representation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software


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