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Modeling and Analysis of the Behavior of Information Systems
November 1988 (vol. 14 no. 11)
pp. 1610-1620

Many widely used specification techniques for information systems are based on a hierarchy of information flow diagrams. A method is introduced which preserves the benefits of these techniques and adds the precision of the Petri net formalism. Information-flow diagram hierarchies are formalized by notions of net theory. The bottom-level nets of a hierarchy are treated as Petri nets. The behavior model of the information system is the Petri net derived by repeatedly replacing each part of a net by its associated refinement. As a prerequisite for such replacements, the data abstractions relation information flows of different level are specified by a semantic hierarchy data model. The nets in the hierarchy are appended by dynamic counterparts of the abstractions so that a consistent replacement becomes possible. The interface behavior of the nets in the hierarchy is analyzed, using the concept of behavior constraints as a formal measure of correct interface behavior. The behavior model can be derived in an iterative bottom-up way by first analyzing a net for fulfillment of its associated behavior constraint and afterward integrating it into the next-higher-level net.

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Index Terms:
information systems; specification techniques; Petri net; data abstractions; information flows; semantic hierarchy data model; behavior constraints; data structures; flowcharting; formal specification; Petri nets
Citation:
G. Lausen, "Modeling and Analysis of the Behavior of Information Systems," IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, vol. 14, no. 11, pp. 1610-1620, Nov. 1988, doi:10.1109/32.9049
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