# Petri net

## One of several mathematical modeling systems for the description of distributed systems / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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A **Petri net**, also known as a **place/transition (PT) net**, is one of several mathematical modeling languages for the description of distributed systems. It is a class of discrete event dynamic system. A Petri net is a directed bipartite graph that has two types of elements: places and transitions. Place elements are depicted as white circles and transition elements are depicted as rectangles.
A place can contain any number of tokens, depicted as black circles. A transition is enabled if all places connected to it as inputs contain at least one token. Some sources[1] state that Petri nets were invented in August 1939 by Carl Adam Petri—at the age of 13—for the purpose of describing chemical processes.

Like industry standards such as UML activity diagrams, Business Process Model and Notation, and event-driven process chains, Petri nets offer a graphical notation for stepwise processes that include choice, iteration, and concurrent execution. Unlike these standards, Petri nets have an exact mathematical definition of their execution semantics, with a well-developed mathematical theory for process analysis^{[citation needed]}.