Nonautonomous elementary net systems and their application to programmable logic control

James Brusey*, Duncan C. McFarlane, Alan Thorne

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, a novel approach to Petri net modeling of programmable logic controller (PLC) programs is presented. The modeling approach is a simple extension of elementary net systems, and a graphical design tool that supports the use of this modeling approach is provided. A key characteristic of the model is that the binary sensory inputs and binary actuation outputs of the PLC are explicitly represented. This leads to the following two improvements: outputs are unambiguous, and interaction patterns are more clearly represented in the graphical form. The use of this modeling approach produces programs that are simple, lightweight, and portable. The approach is demonstrated by applying it to the development of a control module for a MonTech Positioning Station.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)397-409
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics Part A:Systems and Humans
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2008


  • Petri nets (PNs)
  • Programmable logic controllers (PLCs)


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