Rule base verification using Petri nets

Stephen J.H. Yang, Alex S. Lee, William C. Chu, Hongji Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


In this paper, we propose a Petri nets formalism for the verification of rule based systems. Typical structural errors in a rule based system are redundancy, inconsistency, incompleteness, and circularity. Since our verification is based on Petri nets and their incidence matrix, so we need to transform rules into a Petri net first, then derive an incidence matrix from the net. In order to let a rule based system immune from the above described structural errors, we have observed that for all columns in the matrix, all positive entries must be on the above of all negative entries; and for all rows in the matrix, all positive entries must be at the right of all negative entries. If it is not the case, the rule based system may commit errors. Based on this concept, we have developed a tool consisting of the following four phases: rule normalization, rule ordering, rule-to-Petri-net transformation, and rule verification. In phase one, we normalize the rules into Horn clauses. We rearrange the ordering of these normalized rules in phase two, then transform the reordered rules into a Petri net and its corresponding incidence matrix in phase three. In phase four, we perform the rule verification based on the incidence matrix.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)476-481
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings - IEEE Computer Society's International Computer Software and Applications Conference
StatePublished - 1998
EventProceedings of the 1998 IEEE 22nd Annual International Computer Software & Applications Conference - Vienna, Austria
Duration: 19 Aug 199821 Aug 1998


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