Control of elementary and dependent siphons in Petri nets and their application

Zhi Wu Li, Meng Chu Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

201 Scopus citations


The importance of siphons is well recognized in the analysis and control of deadlocks in a Petri net. To minimize the number of siphons that have to be explicitly controlled, siphons in a net are divided in a net into elementary and dependent ones. The concepts of token-rich, token-poor, and equivalent siphons are newly presented. More general conditions under which a dependent siphon can be always marked are established. The existence of dependent siphons in a Petri net is investigated. An algorithm is developed to find the set of elementary siphons in a net system for deadlock control purposes. The application of the proposed elementary siphon concept to the existing deadlock control policies is discussed. A few different-sized manufacturing examples are used to demonstrate the advantages of elementary siphon-based policies. The significant value of the proposed theory via a particular deadlock control policy is shown. Finally, some interesting and open problems are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-148
Number of pages16
JournalIEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics Part A:Systems and Humans
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Information Systems
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


  • Automated manufacturing system
  • Deadlock control
  • Deadlock prevention
  • Elementary siphon
  • Flexible manufacturing system
  • Petri net


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