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The GreatSPN Framework version 3.0

GreatSPN (GRaphical Editor and Analyzer for Timed and Stochastic Petri Nets) is a software package for the modeling, validation, and performance evaluation of distributed systems using Generalized Stochastic Petri Nets and their colored extension, Stochastic Well-formed Nets. The tool provides a friendly framework to experiment with timed Petri net based modeling techniques. It implements efficient analysis algorithms to allow its use on rather complex applications.

How to compile and install GreatSPN on your PC.

GreatSPN can be compiled and installed on most POSIX-compliant systems. The framework requires several dependencies to be installed on your computer in order to compile it.

Linux/Unix installation instructions:

In order to compile and install GreatSPN from sources, you need to do the following steps. First, install the following dependencies (using the developer packages with the header files):

  • gcc and g++ (with support for C++14)
  • autotools (autoconf, automake, libtool, ...)
  • libgmp (GNU multiprecision library) (devel)
  • boost-c++ version 1.64+
  • flex (devel) and byacc
  • ant and Java 1.8+ (Oracle JDK)
  • graphviz
  • libxml++ (devel), glibmm24 (devel) and glib2 (devel)
  • glpk (devel) and lpsolve (devel)

Once all dependencies are installed, create a GreatSPN directory using:

mkdir ~/GreatSPN

Inside this directory you will need to setup two different repositories: one for the Meddly library, and another for the GreatSPN framework. To download the Meddly library, type:

cd ~/GreatSPN
git clone meddly
cd meddly
./configure --prefix=/usr/local
sudo make install

Please, refer to the Meddly site for all the informations on how to download, compile and install it.

Once Meddly is downloaded, compiled and installed, go back to the GreatSPN directory, and type:

cd ~/GreatSPN
git clone SOURCES

to download the sources. The SOURCES directory must be at the same level of the meddly directory. To compile the sources, type:

sudo make install

macOS installation instructions:

GreatSPN compiles and runs successfully on macOS. Before running the Linux/Unix installation steps, you will first need to install the Developer Tools (Xcode) and Oracle Java (version 8 or greater). Then install all the required dependencies using a software like Homebrew, e.g. by running the command:

brew install gmp boost flex byacc ant graphviz libxml++ autoconf automake libtool lp_solve

In the last Homebrew version, the lp_solve package could require to be built from sources. In that case, download the lp_solve sources from Sourceforge and follow the instructions to compile the package. After you have installed Xcode, brew, and the required dependecies, follow the Linux/Unix instructions to compile Meddly and GreatSPN.

Windows installation instructions:

GreatSPN is known to compile and run successfully using the WSL (Windows 10 64bit minimum).


Pre-installed VirtualBox machine:

We offer a pre-installed VirtualBox machine image, based on Fedora Core, that ships with the GreatSPN framework already installed, with all the required dependencies. This is the easiest way to get GreatSPN, since you just have to download the image. The VirtualBox image can be downloaded from this repository. In case you need it, the root password of the VirtualBox image is: fedora

Sometimes the virtual box machine will require the re-installation of the so-called "Guest Additions", which allows to share directories with the host pc. Follow the instruction on the VirtualBox site on how to install the Guest Additions.

TBD. Instructions on how to update the shared directory.

How to run the Graphical User Interface.

If the installation of GreatSPN is successful, the GreatSPN Editor should appear in the Linux application menu. Sometimes, a logout is required. In case the Editor does not appear in the system menu, you can launch it from the command line with this command:


For macOS users, a compiled app is generated in the SOURCES/JavaGUI/Editor/dist directory.

Citing GreatSPN:

To cite the GreatSPN framework, please use this reference PDF:

  title={30 years of {GreatSPN}},
  author={Amparore, Elvio Gilberto and Balbo, Gianfranco and Beccuti, Marco 
  	      and Donatelli, Susanna and Franceschinis, Giuliana},
  booktitle={Principles of Performance and Reliability Modeling and Evaluation},

Recent Awards (Model Checking Context 2018 edition):

GreatSPN participated to the Model Checking Context (MCC) 2018 edition, receiving these awards:

  • MCC2018 Award StateSpace Gold Gold medal in StateSpace category;
  • MCC2018 Award UpperBound Bronze Bronze medal in UpperBounds category;
  • MCC2018 100% accuracy 100% accuracy of the results.

See the MCC2018 site for further details.

How to run the command-line solvers.

When GreatSPN is installed on your PC, it will (by default) place itself in the: /usr/local/GreatSPN directory. The following sub-directory will be created:

  • ${GREATSPN_HOME}/scripts: the scripts that invoke the solver pipelines.
  • ${GREATSPN_HOME}/bin: the individual solver binaries.
  • ${GREATSPN_HOME}/models: the default model library available from the GUI.

Typically, most tools are accessed through a script in the first directory.

TBD: description of the core tools.

Copyright and License

The GreatSPN Framework is licensed under the GPLv2.0 license, which is available within the repository in the LICENSE file. The source code owner is the University of Torino, Italy. If you are interested in a different licensing scheme, please contact us. Any contributing code is not owned by the contributor. Contributors are required to sign a Contributor License Agreement (CLA) when contributing code to the GreatSPN Framework.

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