© 2015

Carl Adam Petri

Life and Science


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Einar Smith
    Pages 1-7
  3. Einar Smith
    Pages 9-18
  4. Einar Smith
    Pages 19-27
  5. Einar Smith
    Pages 29-37
  6. Einar Smith
    Pages 39-50
  7. Einar Smith
    Pages 51-67
  8. Einar Smith
    Pages 69-75
  9. Einar Smith
    Pages 89-92
  10. Einar Smith
    Pages 93-104
  11. Einar Smith
    Pages 105-113
  12. Einar Smith
    Pages 115-122
  13. Back Matter
    Pages 123-128

About this book


The book presents the life and works of one of Germany's most famous computer scientists, Carl Adam Petri. It is written in a vivid and entertaining manner, providing an in-depth discussion of the background behind Petri's best-known contribution to computer science, the Petri net. In this way the book can be read as a first introduction to nets, but it also covers the theoretical, physical and philosophical foundations behind nets, thus facilitating a comprehensive understanding of the wider range of Petri's works. The book is intended for readers with a previous knowledge in computer science, as well as for “interested non-professionals”, who want to get to know a remarkable personality of contemporary science.


Ansynchronous communication Discretely controlled systems Distributed systems Non-sequential processes Petri nets

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Algorithms and Scientific ComputingFraunhofer Gesellschaft SCAI – Sankt AugustinGermany

About the authors

Einar Smith
Graduation in mathematics and computer science, University of Bonn; social economy, University of Oslo. PhD dissertation in computer science 1989, University of Hamburg. From 1984 affiliated with the Gesellschaft für Mathematik und Datenverarbeitung (GMD, German National Center for Mathematics and Computer Science), later Fraunhofer Insitute, Sankt Augustin near Bonn, research field Petri nets. From 1989 lecture activities on Petri nets and theoretical computer science at the Univesities of Koblenz, Berlin (Humboldt-University) and Campina Grande, Brazil. Lecture activities on applied mathematics at the Universities of Cologne and Bonn. Author of a text-book on the Theory of Computability, Springer-Verlag 1996.

Bibliographic information


“The book can be considered as both an emotional and exciting novel … . It was a great honor and quite a privilege for me to have had the opportunity to meet Petri several times during my career, and it would be great if many people who did not have that opportunity could now get to know him by reading this book, which I strongly recommend.” (David de Frutos Escrig, Mathematical Reviews, January, 2017)