A modular formal semantics for Ptolemy

Stavros Tripakis, Christos Stergiou, C. Shaver, Edward A. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Ptolemy is an open-source and extensible modelling and simulation framework. It offers heterogeneous modeling capabilities by allowing different models of computation, both untimed and timed, to be composed hierarchically in an arbitrary fashion. This paper proposes a formal semantics for Ptolemy that is modular in the sense that atomic actors and their compositions are treated in a unified way. In particular, all actors conform to an executable interface that contains four functions: fire (produce outputs given current state and inputs); postfire (update state instantaneously); deadline (how much time the actor is willing to let elapse); and time-update (update the state with the passage of time). Composite actors are obtained using composition operators that in Ptolemy are called directors. Different directors realise different models of computation. In this paper, we formally define the directors for the following models of computation: synchronous- reactive, discrete event, continuous time, process networks and modal models.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)834-881
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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