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UI Overview - example model

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UI Overview
Philosophers problem example

UI Overview

Now that the AlPiNA software is installed we can have a closer look to its User Interface. Eclipse is a very rich user interface with lots of menus and windows. In order to simplify the user environnements when working on a specific task Eclipse introduces the concept of Perspectives. A perspective helps the user to focus on a particular task by filtering unnecessary items.

  • Select the AlPiNA perspective in Window> Open Perspective > Other
  • Then select the AlPiNA perspective


  • The picture below describes the AlPiNA perspective. It is composed of four areas. The Project explorer (1), the perspective switch (2), the main edit area (3) and the properties pane (4).


  • Now it is time to create our first AlPiNA project. To do this, you can either use the Menu (File > New > Project) or right click on the project explorer area. You will then get the following popup. Select the project Item.


  • Choose the AlPiNA Example project, then clic the "next" button. This is an example that shows the Algebraic Petri Net for the Dining Philosophers.


  • Give a project name and click "finish"


  • Eclipse will then create a new project and after a couple of seconds you'll get something similar to the next picture.


  • The project explorer contains the files of your project. The ".apn" files are Algebraic Petri Nets models, the ".apn_diagram" is the graphical representation of the model and the ".adt" files contain Algebraic Data Types used by the Algebraic Petri Net. To create new APN or new ADT, right click in the project explorer view and choose New > Other and then select the new item you want to create.


  • Select AlPiNA > Apn Diagram to create an Algebraic Petri Net, and XText Dsl Wizards > algspec Editor File to create an ADT, a cluster definition or a model property definition.


  • The main area contains all the active editors. In the above example, the user has opened an APN, two ADTs and a cluster definition. Please check the next section for details about these files.
  • When the user chooses an APN model, the main area is split in two: the graphical representation and the palette. Clicking on an item of the main editor updates its properties in the property pane located at the bottom.


  • The palette contains tools to build and model check an Algebraic Petri Net. The first three items are the model elements. Clicking in one of them, then clicking in the graphical area creates the corresponding element. In order to create an arc, click on the arc symbol, then click on the source element, and finally in the destination element.
  • Below are the two main model checking tools, the first one is used to generate the model state space, and the second is used to check properties.

  • The example project contains a complete AlPiNA model that can be executed. First click on the "Compute State Space" icon, it will compute the state space of the model and return a summary containing the number of states, the time required for generation and the memory used. Please note that the memory displayed refers to the memory consumed by the state space generation plus the memory consumed by the Eclipse instance.
  • Finally, you can find the term rewriter, a small but nice tool that can be used to check the user ADTs. More details will be seen in the next section, where we explain how to create a new model from scratch.
Term rewriter.png

The next step, My First Model : Project creation, will show you the first steps to create a new model from scratch.
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