M-nets

M-nets: An algebra of high-level Petri nets, with an application to the semantics of concurrent programming languages. This paper describes a high-level Petri net model called M-nets (for modular multilabelled nets). A distinctive feature of this model is that it allows both: unfolding, as do most other high-level net models; and composition – in particular, synchronisation – in a process algebraic style, turning the set of M-nets into an algebraic domain. It turns out that the composition operations of this domain have various algebraic properties. Moreover, the model is such that composition operations are coherent with unfolding, in the sense that the unfolding of a composite high-level net is the composition of the unfoldings of its components. One of the motivations for M-nets is that they be a vehicle for giving semantics of concurrent programming languages. To illustrate their capability for that, the compositional semantics of B(PN)2 – a simple, expressive concurrent programming language – is given. An associated low-level net semantics is described, and the coherence of these high-level and low-level semantics is proved.