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Reversible computation vs. reversibility in Petri nets

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Maciej KoutnyORCiD, Dr Lukasz Mikulski



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


© 2017 Elsevier B.V. Petri nets are a general formal model of concurrent systems which supports both action-based and state-based modelling and reasoning. One of important behavioural properties investigated in the context of Petri nets has been reversibility, understood as the possibility of returning to the initial marking from any reachable net marking. Thus reversibility in Petri nets is a global property. Reversible computation, on the other hand, is typically a local mechanism by which a system can undo some of the executed actions. This paper is concerned with the modelling of reversible computation within Petri nets. A key idea behind the proposed construction is to add ‘reverses’ of selected transitions, and the paper discusses its different implementations. Adding reverses can severely impact on the behaviour of a Petri net. Therefore it is important, in particular, to be able to determine whether the modified net has a similar set of states as the initial one. We first prove that the problem of establishing whether the initial and modified nets have the same reachable markings is undecidable, even in the restricted case considered in this paper. We then show that the problem of checking whether the reachability sets of the two nets cover the same markings is decidable.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Barylska K, Koutny M, Mikulski L, Piatkowski M

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Science of Computer Programming

Year: 2018

Volume: 151

Pages: 48-60

Print publication date: 01/01/2018

Online publication date: 02/11/2017

Acceptance date: 17/10/2017

Date deposited: 15/10/2017

ISSN (print): 0167-6423

ISSN (electronic): 1872-7964

Publisher: Elsevier BV


DOI: 10.1016/j.scico.2017.10.008


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