Petri Nets and Industrial Applications: A Tutorial

Richard Zurawski, Meng Chu Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

503 Scopus citations


This is a tutorial paper on Petri nets. Petri nets, as a graphical and mathematical tool, provide a uniform environment for modelling, formal analysis, and design of discrete event systems. The main objective of this paper is to introduce the fundamental concepts of Petri nets to the researchers and practitioners, both from academia and industry, who are involved in the work in the areas of modelling and analysis of industrial types of systems, as well as those who may potentially be involved in these areas. The paper begins with an overview of applications of Petri nets, mostly industrial ones. Then, it proceeds with a description of Petri nets, properties, and analysis methods. The discussion of properties is put in the context of industrial applications. The analysis methods are illustrated using an example of a simple robotic assembly system. The performance analysis, using Petri nets, is discussed for deterministic and stochastic Petri nets. The presented techniques are illustrated by examples representing simple production systems. In addition, the paper introduces high-level Petri nets, fuzzy Petri nets, and temporal Petri nets. This is done in the context of application prospects. The paper also briefly discusses some of the reasons restricting the use of Petri nets, mostly, to academic institutions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)567-583
Number of pages17
JournalIEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1994

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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