Control program design for automated guided vehicle systems via Petri nets

Ji Liang Luo, Hui Juan Ni, Meng Chu Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


An ordinary Petri-net (PN) based approach is proposed to design a programmable logical controller (PLC) that prevents collisions among vehicles in an automated guided vehicle (AGV) system. First, a procedure is proposed to model an AGV system as a control-hardware PN. Second, a method is formulated to design a PN supervisor (the closed-loop PN) for collision prevention. This paper defines the line, merge, divide and intersection alignments, and then adds the transitions and arcs for these four alignments into the control-hardware PN, respectively. As a result, a closed-loop PN is obtained as the supervisor for preventing collisions among vehicles in an AGV system. Finally, a method is introduced to automatically translate a closed-loop PN into a ladder diagram by Boolean expressions. Consequently, the closed-loop PN can be implemented by a PLC. An example is used to illustrate this methodology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6872587
Pages (from-to)44-55
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics: Systems
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


  • Automated guided vehicle
  • Discrete event systems
  • Petri nets
  • Programmable logical controller


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