RON Editor

TU-Berlin | Faculty IV | Institute ISTI | Research group TFS

An editor for Reconfigurable Object Nets


With regard to the current DFG project forMAlNET which focuses on the formal modeling of Mobile Ad-Hoc Networks (MANETs) with Algebraic Higher-Order Nets (AHONs), we intended to create a tool to support visual editing and simulation of AHONs.
We came up with a simplified version of AHONs called Reconfigurable Object Nets: These are restricted to five kinds of transitions with special firing-semantics (Standard[Copy, Move, Delete], Fire, ApplyRule, Split) in the high-level net part. So we can disregard algebraic expressions in RON models but most examples of AHONs regarding MANETs can be modeled with RONs as well.

You can find a short introduction to RONs and the purpose of the RON editors in this article: A Visual Editor for Reconfigurable Object Nets based on the ECLIPSE Graphical Editor Framework. This article has been presented at AWPN 2007.

For the conflict analysis of rule applications and transition firing and how our editor supports this you may want to have a look at  Independence Analysis of Firing and Rule-based Net Transformations in Reconfigurable Object Nets. This article has been presented at GT-VMT 2008.

We present details about simulating the firing of Petri nets with the graph transformation engine AGG in Implementing Petri Net Transformations using Graph Transformation Tools. This article has been presented at PNGT 2008. (PowerPoint slides)

Project description

The development of a visual editor for RONs was the main subject of the  Visual Languages Project in summer 2007. Three small groups of students started with a rudimentary network editor and a basic meta model for RONs provided by the organizing team of the project. In several stages the participating groups have extended this independently to different editors.

Meanwhile, we extended and merged the capabilites of the students' editors by building an extended version of the RONEditor. By now, we use the extended RONEditor as a prototype tool to realize results from our research project Formal modeling and analysis of flexible processes in mobile ad-hoc networks.

The extended RONEditor is based on our plug-in MuvitorKit (for Multi-View Editors). It provides the mechanism to easily produce editors showing nested models in multiple views like the RONEditor. Most of the RONEditor's features that could be transferred to other editors in fact have been already lifted to a generic abstract implementation as parts of the MuvitorKit. We have written an article about our experiences of using this framework for teaching programming of graphical editors in Eclipse. The article An Eclipse Framework for Rapid Development of Rich-featured GEF Editors based on EMF Models describes the MuvitorKit in detail. We are going to present it at the workshop "Methodische Entwicklung von Modellierungswerkzeugen" of the Informatik 2009 conference. We are currently working on a detailed tutorial how to set up a minimal running editor with MuvitorKit.

Development of the MuvitorKit and of the RONEditor has been adjourned for the time being. Maybe MuvitorKit will find its home in other projects where it will be maintained. We plan to implement an editor for an editor with a more powerful model with a formal foundation, called Algebraic Higher-Order Nets with Individual Tokens (AHOI nets). AHOI nets feature AHLI nets as tokens and rules for transforming AHLI nets. 

Goals of the project

The editors were expected to allow users to create, delete and edit parts of the model like object nets, net transformations rules and a top-level RON. Several checks, e.g. for correct typing of tokens on RON places or if mappings in rules satisfy net morphism properties, should help the user to obtain consistent RONs.
Additionally, the editor comprises a simulator using the AGG engine to simulate the application of rules and thus firing of high-level transitions in the RONs created with the editors.

The visual editors themselves have been realized as Eclipse plug-ins using the Eclipse Modeling Framework (EMF) and Graphical Editor Framework (GEF) plug-ins.

©2009 TFS - Last modified by Tony Modica