Modeling Dynamic Architectures Using Nets-Within-Nets
Current modeling techniques are not well equipped to design dynamic software architectures. In this work we present the basic concepts for a dynamic architecture modeling using nets-within-nets. Nets-within-nets represent a powerful formalism that allows active elements, i.e. nets, to be nested in arbitrary and dynamically changeable hierarchies. Applying the concepts from nets-within-nets, therefore, allows us to model complex dynamic system architectures in a simple way, which enables us to design the system at different levels of abstractions using refinements of net models.
Additionally to the conceptual modeling of such architecture, we provide a practical example where the concept has been successfully applied in the development of the latest release of Renew (Version 2 of the multi-formalism Petri net IDE). The overall monolithic architecture has been exchanged with a system that is divided into a plug-in management system and plug-in’s that provide functionality for the users. By combining plug-ins the system can be adapted to the users’ needs. Through the introduction of the Petri net concepts, the new architecture is now – at runtime – dynamically extensible by registering plug-ins with the management system. The introduced architecture is applicable for any kind of architecture but most suitable for applications with dynamic structure.
KeywordsHigh-level Petri nets Nets-within-nets reference nets Renew plug-ins components dynamic software architecture modeling
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