On siphon computation for deadlock control in a class of Petri nets

Zhi Wu Li, Meng Chu Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

117 Scopus citations


As a structural object, siphons are well recognized in the analysis and control of deadlocks in resource allocation systems modeled with Petri nets. Many deadlock prevention policies characterize the deadlock behavior of the systems in terms of siphons and utilize this characterization to avoid deadlocks. This paper develops a novel methodology to find interesting siphons for deadlock control purposes in a class of Petri nets, i.e., a system of simple sequential processes with resources (S3 PR). Resource circuits in an (S3 PR) are first detected, from which, in general, a small portion of emptiable minimal siphons can be derived. The remaining emptiable ones can be found by their composition. A polynomial-time algorithm for finding the set of elementary siphons is proposed, which avoids complete siphon enumeration. It is shown that a dependent siphon can always be controlled by properly supervising its elementary siphons. A computationally efficient deadlock control policy is accordingly developed. Experimental study shows the efficiency of the proposed siphon computation approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)667-679
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics Part A:Systems and Humans
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 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 prevention
  • Elementary siphon
  • Flexible manufacturing system (FMS)
  • Petri net
  • Resource allocation system
  • Siphon


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