The unfolding of general Petri nets

Authors Jonathan Hayman, Glynn Winskel

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Jonathan Hayman
Glynn Winskel

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Jonathan Hayman and Glynn Winskel. The unfolding of general Petri nets. In IARCS Annual Conference on Foundations of Software Technology and Theoretical Computer Science. Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 2, pp. 223-234, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2008)


The unfolding of (1-)safe Petri nets to occurrence nets is well understood. There is a universal characterization of the unfolding of a safe net which is part and parcel of a coreflection from the category of occurrence nets to the category of safe nets. The unfolding of general Petri nets, nets with multiplicities on arcs whose markings are multisets of places, does not possess a directly analogous universal characterization, essentially because there is an implicit symmetry in the multiplicities of general nets, and that symmetry is not expressed in their traditional occurrence net unfoldings. In the present paper, we show how to recover a universal characterization by representing the symmetry in the behaviour of the occurrence net unfoldings of general Petri nets. We show that this is part of a coreflection between enriched categories of general Petri nets with symmetry and occurrence nets with symmetry.
  • Petri nets
  • symmetry
  • unfolding


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