A methodology for analysis and control of discrete event dynamic systems

  • Daniel Azzopardi

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The rapid developments in computer technology have resulted in a widespread use of discrete event dynamic systems (DEDSs). This type of system is complex because it exhibits properties such as concurrency, conflict and non-determinism. It is therefore important to model and analyse such systems before implementation to ensure safe, deadlock free and optimal operation. This thesis investigates current modelling techniques and describes Petri net theory in more detail. It reviews top down, bottom up and hybrid Petri net synthesis techniques that are used to model large systems and introduces on object oriented methodology to enable modelling of larger and more complex systems. Designs obtained by this methodology are modular, easy to understand and allow re-use of designs.
Control is the next logical step in the design process. This thesis reviews recent developments in control DEDSs and investigates the use of Petri nets in the design of supervisory controllers. The scheduling of exclusive use of resources is investigated and an efficient Petri net based scheduling algorithm is designed and a re-configurable controller is proposed.
To enable the analysis and control of large and complex DEDSs, an object oriented C++ software tool kit was developed and used to implement a Petri net analysis tool, Petri net scheduling and control algorithms. Finally, the methodology was applied to two industrial DEDSs: a prototype can sorting machine developed by Eurotherm Controls Ltd., and a semiconductor testing plant belonging to SGS Thomson Microelectronics Ltd.
Date of AwardAug 1996
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorDavid J Holding (Supervisor)


  • discrete event dynamic systems (DEDS)
  • object oriented methodologies
  • OMT
  • petri nets
  • scheduling
  • supervisory control

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