Modeling and Race Detection of Ladder Diagrams via Ordinary Petri Nets

Jiliang Luo, Qi Zhang, Xuekun Chen, Mengchu Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


This paper presents an ordinary Petri net (PN)-based approach to the modeling and race-detection problems of programs for programmable logic controllers (PLCs). First, a PLC program is formalized by a graph where nodes represent contacts and coils. Second, an algorithm is proposed to translate this graph into an ordinary PN. Third, a method is presented to detect whether there exists a race in a program by using a reachability graph technique, to locate a race by introducing the race path, and to correct a race by analyzing the subnet that contains it. An example is utilized to illustrate the theoretic results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1166-1176
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics: Systems
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


  • Discrete event systems
  • IEC61131-3 standard
  • Petri nets (PNs)
  • formal methods
  • industrial automation
  • ladder diagram (LD)
  • race detection
  • supervisory control


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