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Automated Customer-Centric Performance Analysis of Generalised Stochastic Petri Nets Using Tagged Tokens

Nicholas J. Dingle, William J. Knottenbelt

Electronic Journal Article
March, 2009
Electronic Notes in Theoretical Computer Science
Volume 232

Since tokens in Generalised Stochastic Petri Net (GSPN) models are indistinguishable, it is not always possible to reason about customer-centric performance measures. To remedy this, we propose "tagged tokens" - a variant of the "tagged customer" technique used in the analysis of queueing networks. Under this scheme, one token in a structurally restricted net is "tagged" and its position tracked as it moves around the net. Performance queries can then be phrased in terms of the position of the tagged token.

To date, the tagging of customers or tokens has been a time-consuming, manual and model-specific process. By contrast, we present here a completely automated methodology for the tagged token analysis of GSPNs. We first describe an intuitive graphical means of specifying the desired tagging configuration, along with the constraints on GSPN structure which must be observed for tagged tokens to be incorporated. We then present the mappings required for automatically converting a GSPN with a user-specified tagging structure into a Coloured GSPN (CGSPN), and thence into an unfolded GSPN which can be analysed for performance measures of interest by existing tools. We further show how our methodology integrates with Performance Trees, a formalism for the specification of performance queries.

We have implemented our approach in the open source PIPE Petri net tool, and use this to illustrate the extra expressibility granted by tagged tokens through the analysis of a GSPN model of a hospital's Accident and Emergency department.

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