Modelling of Software-Intensive Systems 


The (written) theory exam takes place on Monday 26 January 2015, 09:00 -- 12:00 in M.G.005. Use of your notes or other materials such as laptops is not allowed (aka "closed book").

Here is a list of Exam Topics/Questions

The course will make extensive use of the object-oriented programming language Python. We will advise you to prepare for this course by learning the language, if you don't already know it.

A useful tutorial can be found at:

The course will be taught
  • 08:30 - 10:30 on Monday
  • 10:45 - 12:45 on Thursday
During these session theory (during most of the term) in M.G.004, lab in M.G.025 when appropriate, and some oral evaluation sessions (M.G.317, M.G.330, ...) are planned.

Schedule (gets updated as the semester progresses)






1Monday 22 September 08:30 -- 10:30No class
1Thursday 25 September 10:45 -- 12:45Academic opening and Studay - no class (moved to Friday)
1Friday 26 September 16:00 -- 18:00TheoryG.016Course introduction: goals, structure, evaluation, planning, Python!
Causes of complexity, Software Intensive Systems
2Monday 29 September 08:30 -- 10:30No class (moved to Friday)
2Thursday 2 October 10:45 -- 12:45TheoryG.004UML notations: Class Diagrams, Sequence Diagrams, Regular Expressions, FSA
2 AssignmentG.004UML notations -- assignment #1
2Friday 3 October 16:00 -- 18:00TheoryG.016The structure of modelling languages
3Monday 6 October 08:30 -- 10:30TheoryG.004No class
3Thursday 9 October 10:45 -- 12:45TheoryG.004No class
3Sunday 12 OctoberDeadlineAssignment 1: Requirements Checking
4Monday 13 October 08:30 -- 10:30TheoryG.004Algebraic Causal Block Diagrams (un-timed), loop detection and solving
4Thursday 16 October 10:45 -- 11:45TheoryG.004Discrete-Time Causal Block Diagrams
4 AssignmentG.004Alg+DT CBD -- assignment #2
4Thursday 16 October 11:45 -- 12:45 ++Oral EvaluationG.317Assignment 1: Requirements Checking
5Monday 20 October 08:30 -- 10:30TheoryG.004Continuous-Time Causal Block Diagrams
5 AssignmentG.004CT CBD -- assignment #3
5Thursday 23 October 10:45 -- 12:45TheoryG.004Petri Nets
5Sunday 26 OctoberDeadlineAssignment 2: Algebraic and Discrete-Time CBDs
6Monday 27 October 08:30 -- 10:30TheoryG.004No class
6Thursday 30 October 10:45 -- 12:45TheoryG.004Petri nets
6Sunday 2 NovemberDeadlineAssignment 3: Continuous-Time CBD
7Monday 3 November 08:30 -- 10:30TheoryG.004Petri nets (analysis), the tool pipe2
7 AssignmentG.004Petri nets -- assignment #4
7Thursday 6 November 10:45 -- 12:45TheoryG.004Higraphs and Statecharts
8Monday 10 November 08:30 -- 10:30No class
8Thursday 13 November 09:45 -- 15:30Oral EvaluationG.028Assignments 2 and 3: Algebraic, Discrete-Time and Continuous-Time CBDs
8Thursday 13 November 11:45 -- 12:45TheoryG.004Statecharts
8Sunday 16 NovemberDeadlineAssignment 4: Petri Nets
9Monday 17 November 08:30 -- 10:30TheoryG.004Statecharts
9Thursday 20 November 10:45 -- 12:45TheoryG.004Discrete-Event World Views: Event Scheduling, Activity Scanning
Gathering statistics
10Monday 24 November 08:30 -- 10:30AssignmentG.025Statecharts hands-on, assignment #5
10Thursday 27 November 10:45 -- 12:45TheoryG.004Atomic DEVS
11Monday 1 December 08:30 -- 10:30TheoryG.004Coupled DEVS (flattening)
11 AssignmentG.004DEVS -- assignment #6
11Thursday 4 December 10:45 -- 12:45Oral EvaluationG.317Assignment 4: Petri nets
10Sunday 7 DecemberDeadlineAssignment 5: Statecharts
12Monday 8 December 08:30 -- 10:30TheoryG.004Systems Theory
12Thursday 11 December 10:45 -- 12:45TheoryG.004Population Dynamics and Forrester System Dynamics
Course overview: how it all fits together
Exam questions
12Sunday 14 DecemberDeadlineAssignment 6: DEVS
13Monday 15 December 08:30 -- 10:30TheoryG.004No class
13Thursday 18 December 10:45 -- 12:45Oral EvaluationG.330Assignments 5 and 6: Statecharts and DEVS
TBATheory ExamG.005Selected Topics


presentation [pdf]

Modelling and Simulation to Tackle Complexity
presentation [pdf] exploring the causes of complexity.

Modelling and Simulation Foundations: Systems Specification
presentation [pdf]
notes [pdf]

Formalisms: Causal Block Diagrams (CBDs)
Analog computers and CSMP [pdf]
CSMP: Robert D. Brennan: Digital simulation for control system design. DAC. New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, May 16-19, 1966. [pdf]
(old) Blackboard Scribbles.
Topological Sorting and Strong Component algorithms.
Lecture on Algebraic and Discrete-Time CBDs [video].
Lecture on Continuous-Time CBDs [video].
Note: the above are not recordings of this year's class, but rather of an older version of the course, with the same content however.

Formalisms: Petri Nets
Christos G. Cassandras. Discrete Event Systems. Irwin, 1993. Chapters 4, 5. [pdf (MoSIS access only)].
Carl Adam Petri. Kommunikation mit Automaten. 1962. (this is Petri's doctoral dissertation).
Tadao Murata. Petri nets: Properties, analysis and applications. Proceedings of the IEEE, 77(4):541-580, April 1989.
James L. Peterson. Petri Net Theory and the Modeling of Systems. Prentice Hall, 1981.

Formalisms: Statecharts
Higraphs presentation[pdf]. Statecharts presentation[pdf].
David Harel. Statecharts: A Visual Formalism for Complex Systems. Science of Computer Programming. Volume 8. 1987. pp. 231 - 274. [pdf].
David Harel. On Visual Formalisms. Communications of the ACM. Volume 31, No. 5. 1988. pp. 514 - 530. [pdf] [pdf (MoSIS access only)].
David Harel and Amnon Naamad, The STATEMATE semantics of statecharts. ACM Transactions on Software Engineering and Methodology (TOSEM) Volume 5 , Issue 4 (October 1996) pp.293 - 333. [pdf] [pdf (MoSIS access only)].
D. Harel and M. Politi. Modeling Reactive Systems with Statecharts: The STATEMATE Approach. McGraw-Hill, 1998. (available online).
David Harel and Hillel Kugler. The Rhapsody Semantics of Statecharts (or, On the Executable Core of the UML). Springer, Lecture Notes in Computer Science 3147. 2004. pp. 325 - 354. [pdf]
Michael von der Beeck. A structured operational semantics for UML-statecharts. Software and Systems Modeling. Volume 1, No. 2 pp.130 - 141. December 2002. [pdf].
The digital watch assignment (not an assignment this year).

Formalisms: Event-Scheduling Discrete-Event

Formalisms: Discrete-EVent System Specification (DEVS)

Formalisms: (Forrester) System Dynamics

Formalisms: Hybrid DAE (Modelica)


  1. Checking requirements using Sequence Diagrams and Trace Matches of a chat room.
  2. Causal Block Diagrams (un-timed, discrete-time).
  3. Causal Block Diagrams (continuous-time).
  4. Petri net modelling and analysis of a chat room.
  5. Statecharts modelling, simulation, synthesis, and testing of a chat room.
  6. DEVS modelling and simulation for performance analysis of a networked chat room.

These assignments will be completed in groups of two students (optionally alone). Your solutions should be submitted to Blackboard. During the evaluation moments (see schedule), you will clarify your solution individually.

Oral Evaluation Assignment 1: Requirements Checking

Date: 16 October 2014

Place: G.317 (Bart Meyers' office, 3rd floor)

Jeroen De Busser and Thomas Pinna10:20
Nicolas Demarbaix10:30
Ahmad Othman12:10
Bozhidara Ognyanova Ivanova12:20
Ruben Mennes and Eveline Ververs12:30
Jens Smits12:40
Joeri Reyns and Joran Dox17:00
Sara Sali17:20
Michael Deckers and Yves Maris17:30
Brent van Bladel and Matthias Verstappen17:40
Hannu Viinikainen17:50
Konstantinos Theodorakos18:00
Tihon Tomic18:10
Bart Cools18:20
Andrea Zaccara and Addis Alemayehu Gebremichael18:30
Glenn Van de Water18:40
Zdenek Rosa and Marek Svepes18:50

Oral Evaluation Assignment 2-3: Causal Block Diagrams

Date: 13 November 2014

Place: G.017 (ground floor)

Jens Smits09:45
Michael Deckers + Yves Maris10:00
Thomas Pinna + Jeroen De Busser10:15
Sari Sali + Bozhidara Ognyanova10:45
Ruben Mennes + Eveline Ververs11:00
Ahmad Othman11:15
Glenn Vandewater11:30
Bart Cools + Nicolas Demarbaix13:15
Hannu Viikainen13:30
Joran Dox + Joeri Reyns13:45
Konstantinos Theodorakos14:00
Marek Svepes + Rosa Zdenek14:30
Matthias Verstappen + Brent Van Bladel14:45
Andrea Zaccara + Addis Alemayehu Gebremichael15:30
Tihon Tomic16:00

Oral Evaluation Assignment 4: Petri nets

Date: 4 December 2014

Place: G.317 (Bart Meyers' office, 3rd floor)

Ahmad Othman and Tihon Tomic10:30
Andrea Zaccara10:40
Brent van Bladel and Matthias Verstappen11:00
Glenn Van de Water11:10
Hannu Viinikainen11:20
Jens Smits11:30
Jeroen Debusser and Thomas Pinna11:40
Joran Dox and Joeri Reyns12:00
Konstantinos Theodorakos12:10
Michael Deckers and Yves Maris12:20
Ruben Mennes and Eveline Ververs12:30
Sara Sali and Bozhidara Ognyanova12:40
Zdenek Rosa and Marek Svepes13:00
Nicolas Demarbaix and Bart Cools13:10
Addis Alemayehu Gebremichael13:20

Oral Evaluation Assignment 5-6: Statecharts & DEVS

Date: 18 December 2014

Place: G.330 (Yentl Van Tendeloo's office, 3rd floor)

Thomas Pinna8:50
Brent van Bladel9:00
Konstantinos Theodorakos9:10
Eveline Ververs9:20
Jens Smits9:30
Addis Alemayehu Gebremichael9:40
Jeroen De Busser9:50
Matthias Verstappen10:00
Tihon Tomic10:10
Joran Dox10:20
Rosa Zdenek10:40
Andrea Zaccara10:50
Bozhidara Ivanova11:00
Nicolas Demarbaix11:10
Sara Sali11:20
Marek Svepes11:30
Glenn Van de Water11:40
Yves Maris11:50
Ahmad Othman13:00
Joeri Reyns13:10
Michael Deckers13:20
Hannu Viinikainen13:40
Ruben Mennes13:50
Maintained by Hans Vangheluwe. Last Modified: 2015/09/21 02:43:02.