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1996 : A Structured Net Language for the Modeling of Distributed Systems

Lorenz Lercher
The trust in technical systems like airplanes and automobiles is based on the belief that the probability of a critical failure of these systems is extremely small. Extremely small failure probabilities, however, cannot be inferred from testing alone. Only theoretical analysis -- that is, modeling -- can provide a rational basis for putting reliance on safety-critical systems.

Modeling is susceptible to errors like any other complex task. Errors in the modeling process can lead to unjustified trust in technical systems. Thus, techniques and tools are needed that support the building of clear and concise models and reduce the number of sources for modeling errors.

This thesis introduces structured nets as a new technique for the modeling of distributed systems. Structured nets provide hierarchies, a clear separation of system topology on the one hand and system behavior on the other hand; they reduce the redundancy in model representations and support classes of similar models. Furthermore, structured nets support the process of model evaluation and the automatic exploitation of architectural symmetries.

The thesis describes the implementation of a computer tool that automates the evaluation of structured nets and shows the feasibility of the theoretical concepts for practical modeling problems. With the tool properties like mean time to failure or reliability of the systems under study can be evaluated. As a case study, structured net models are used to evaluate different variants of a distributed system.

@phdthesis{ lercher:1996,
  author =      "Lorenz Lercher",
  title =       "A Structured Net Language for the Modeling of Distributed Systems",
  address =     "Treitlstr. 3/3/182-1, 1040 Vienna, Austria",
  school =      "Technische Universit{\"a}t Wien, Institut f{\"u}r Technische Informatik",
  year =        "1996"
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