Abridged Petri Net (APN) software provides a visual tool for modeling the time-dependent nondeterministic behavior of complex systems using discrete event simulations. APN allows modeling a system's interactions in a transparent and visual manner without resorting to coding. A small number of building blocks are selected to balance modeling flexibility, clarity, and compactness. The goals of APN are:

  • Lower the entrance barrier to Discrete Event Simulations (DES).
  • Simplify and speed up model creation, modification, and verification for DES.
  • Provide an accessible and transparent tool for direct communications with decision makers.

The concepts of APN are described in the following paper, while the following tutorial puts APN in the broader context of DES. APN implements aging tokens.

APN combines:

  • The flexibility of DES without the associated set-up costs.
  • Visual clarity for non-technical decision makers of System Dynamics (SD) enhanced with the effective representation of discrete events.
  • The local nature of Agent-Based Modeling (ABM) with additional rigor and efficiency of the analysis due to clearly defined structure of APN models.

An easy to use and purely graphical user interface facilitates the modeling of complex dynamic scenarios without the need for additional coding.

The strong emphasis on the visual representation of interactions that APN offers complements, rather than replaces, existing simulation frameworks. There are situations where the use of other tools is more appropriate, in particular when visual representation of the logic of system behavior is too cumbersome or impossible, and coding is preferred or even necessary.

If you want to give the software a spin, please contact me below and briefly describe what you are going to use it for. APN software is available for PCs and Macs, and there is usually no charge for academic and cool research projects.