Modeling Dynamic Architectures Using Nets-Within-Nets

  • Lawrence Cabac
  • Michael Duvigneau
  • Daniel Moldt
  • Heiko Rölke
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 3536)


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.


High-level Petri nets Nets-within-nets reference nets Renew plug-ins components dynamic software architecture modeling 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lawrence Cabac
    • 1
  • Michael Duvigneau
    • 1
  • Daniel Moldt
    • 1
  • Heiko Rölke
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of HamburgHamburg

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