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Dmitry Zaitsev provides the history and the latest research on Sleptsov net computing, which is showcased in IGI Global's upcoming Encyclopedia release

The Highest Standard: Sleptsov Software

By Elizabeth Leber on May 23, 2017
professional headshot dr. sleptsovDr. Anatolii Illich Sleptsov
As Oprah Winfrey said “Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody's going to know whether you did it or not.” When it comes to Sleptsov nets, integrity is of the utmost importance, and those who have been conducting the research are determined to fight to make it known. Sleptsov nets are a new graphical language of parallel programming which when implemented in hardware will yield hyperperformance. You simply draw programs instead of writing them. Circles, rectangles and arcs connect everything, and only numbers can be written inside the circles.

"Our nets bring integrity to programming on place-transition networks. No other concepts, no other facilities. Only nets, which represent a program, run on nets, which represent a processor. They run fast and massively parallel, so let us implement them!" states Dr. Anatolii Illich Sleptsov.

Dr. Anatolii Illich Sleptsov received his Ph.D. in automation & telecommunications from Donetsk Polytechnic Institute (Ukraine) in 1974 and a doctor of sciences degree in information technologies in 1989 at the Institute of Cybernetics of National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. Prof. Sleptsov taught undergraduate and graduate information system courses for computer and software engineering students in Donetsk Polytechnic Institute and Donetsk National University for more than 30 years. Since 2007, he has been teaching data mining courses for management students in the National Pedagogical Dragomanov University. He is also the author of more than 50 articles and six books.

While Sleptsov started this profound research, Dr. Dmitry Zaitsev is developing and expanding this knowledge to the academic community. Zaitsev has written many research papers, which are outlined in his recent essay and has contributed to the chapter titled "Sleptsov Net Computing", which joins 704 other new and original articles in the forthcoming Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, Fourth Edition.

Sleptsov and Zaitsev both took time out of their busy schedules to complete an interview with IGI Global to discuss their cutting-edge research, and the impact it can have on computer speed.

Describe the history and relevance of Sleptsov nets?

When we started the topic about thirty years ago, we were thinking about the modeling aspects only applying our timed Petri nets with multichannel transition (the multiple firing strategy) for the production control and management at a real-life plant, Topaz. The developed software system Opera-Topaz worked for years in the production of very sophisticated articles such as radio-spy station Kolchuga. Besides, Opera-Topaz was sold to one of the biggest corporations of Ukraine Motorsich, which produces engines for planes.

Now many people who applied Petri nets in software engineering stopped doing it because of disappointment. Petri nets run exponentially slower than Turing machines on arithmetic operations. The only application area where Petri nets still work is the programmable logic controllers.

Recently, Prof. Dmitry Zaitsev has shown that nets with the multiple firing strategy are very fast and remove crucial obstacles on there way to becoming a general purpose language for concurrent programming, which promises hyper performance at the expense of massive parallelism. Zaitsev shares more insight in his video Petri Nets for Modeling and Computing.

What are controversial topics related to this research?

Applying a similar principle called “exhaustive use of rule” in spiking P neuron systems and DNA computing without references to our works encouraged my disciple Zaitsev to assign my name to the concept.

Let us notice that people say “differential calculus” without bringing in names. With place-transition nets the situation is nearly the same, though many people, especially from Germany, persist in using the name Petri.

action shot sleptsovt To be just, we mention that Yanov schemes of programs were among the first graphical models and major results in the area of place-transition nets that have obtained 70th in the USA by Hack, Molloy and Murata. Then Gerault, Valette, Marsan and Chiola essentially developed them in France and Italy. Then Jensen in Denmark introduced and developed the concept of colored nets.

Besides, vector addition systems of Karp and Miller represent the same concept from a mathematical point of view, recently developed in multiset rewriting systems by Cervesato.

How do you feel about this new technology being coined with your name?

As a modest person, I would rather say that the decision to bring in my name has been adopted without my influence. From the other side, why should we be unjust to so many people by forgetting their names?

Without disparaging the contribution of Carl Petri on the initial stage, we state that modern place-transition nets are essentially different, refined and developed by many brilliant people.

As for the central part of the model that influences the entire theory, we undoubtedly should mention people who introduced new concepts: the maximal firing strategy of Salwicky described in works of Burhard, cause and effect nets of Czaja, algebraic nets of Kotov, colored nets of Jensen, etc.

Otherwise let us call them all “place-transition” nets.

What argument typically goes against your opinions on the controversial topics you mentioned?

As for graphical languages of programming, they start from Yanov schemes of programs, continue in R-technology of programming of Velbitsky and finally resolve in UML of Booch, which part is represented now by place-transition nets.

Many people say that major application field of place-transition nets are restricted by modeling tasks only. They say that all of the projects that brought nets to the enterprise level of implementation were unsuccessful.

They are right concerning Petri nets. However, our nets with the multiple firing strategy run fast and open new prospects for their wide practical application. Moreover, a Petri net is a special case of our nets. Only a huge, real-life project could resolve the issue, and we invite big companies to cooperate.

What kind of impact would this technology have?

Currently, typical processors have reached their limitations of speed. Quantum computers are very far in the future, and Sleptsov computers, implemented as a matrix of computing memory, will run very fast and massively parallel. It will be cheap, and it opens wide prospects of applications, included applications that are embedded in everyday devices to new kinds of supercomputers. We only use software models of it now, but hope to see it implemented directly into hardware one day. This innovation has the potential to generate major change in the realm of technology.
Thank you Dr. Anatolii Illich Sleptsov and Prof. Dmitry Zaitsev for taking the time to provide the history and sound research regarding Sleptsov nets. Please support #SleptsovNets on Twitter, and be sure to attend the upcoming conference ISC'2017 15th Annual Industrial Simulation Conference from May 31-June 2, 2017.
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The success of the Sleptsov nets computing entirely depends on the hardware implementation of the corresponding processor and computer. The authors have gone the initial stage of the software emulation which has shown some benefits of their technology. Now strong enterprise-level arguments are in demand, and the technology success completely depends on the corresponding investments.
Reggie Davidrajuh4 months ago
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Thank you for your kind words of approval, valuable pieces of opinion and advice, my dear colleagues! In my invited talk to PSSV'2017 i tried to keep balance of justice regarding the historical aspect. Process charts of a brilliant American family-team Frank and Lillian Gilbreth, offered in 1921, specify concurrent processes (https://engineering.purdue.edu/IE/GilbrethLibrary/gilbrethproject/processcharts.pdf). In a definite sense, we can consider place-transition nets as their simplification and unification.
Dmitry Zaitsev4 months ago
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Nice interview. Concurrent computing and concurrent control systems become very important nowadays. Seems that Sleptsov net may perfectly fit to this trend. Good luck!
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Sleptsov nets looks concise in their concept, especially in describing concurrent processes. Sleptsov nets promise to provide much better performance compared to other techniques such as Petri-Net and Salwicki Net. Sleptsov net seems to be a better choice for a graphical language of concurrent programming.
Mehmet Ulema4 months ago
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From the phylosophical point of view there is certain demand for a transition from the traditional sequential way of thinking and specifying algorithms to the concurrent one. It looks like an attempt to reflect our versatile world more thoroughly, more precisely. And concurrent algrorithms in the form of Sleptsov nets, recipes in their essense, will not restrict capabilities and speed of new fast, massively parallel, computers
Valerii Kuzev5 months ago
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Research in this area is very significant today.
Valerii Kuzev6 months ago
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Besides the scientific and technological benefits mentioned by others, I'd like to focus on the significance of the psychological aspect of the research for the image of Ukraine in the world. We do not only consume best products of information terchnology of developed countries, but also invent our own which obtains international recognition of IT professionals. Nowadays it is important to attract attention to those people who choose an option to create and develop new computers and software. And as Dr. Owsinki mentioned: some psychological aspects should be integrated while providing "smooth passage" or humanistic transformation from using traditional computers to using Sleptsov computers.
Svitlana Dniprova6 months ago
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Has this anything to do with CLOUDS? And surely this has to do with the 4th Industrial Revolution, because the “production control and management at a real-life plant, Topaz” is a ready base for creation of SMART PLANTS. Then it suggests itself to pass to a coordinated and balanced integration of all the smart plants in a smart economy, that is, to integrate micro- and macro- levels into an optimally functioning rational economy. This is a huge informational, computational and modelling task, where this approach can be applied the most effectively. So, let’s initiate a huge, real-life project to resolve the issue; and issue a call for the related international cooperation, under HORIZON 2020 or any other financing. At that big companies could be even more quick to support us, for knowing the turns of global markets earlier than competitors. Let us implement them! states Dr. Sleptsov and it remains to start realizing it just now! http://www.palgrave.com/gp/book/9781137477064
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It is a very nice interview. I am not too familiar with this topic but I am convinced with the importance of the researches done in this direction. Sleptsov nets seems a promising technological challenge for today and also for future, which is expected to be faster than conventional models like Petri nets. This system is also a good representative example of how the theory turns out be a useful technology. Thanks to Dr. Anatolii Illich Sleptsov and Dr. Dmitry Zaitsev!
Abuzer Yakaryilmaz6 months ago
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The efforts in the direction here described are very important, as code writing becomes an enormously significant sector of human activity, in economic, social, political etc. terms. Expressing a process, an operation, etc. in a simple manner that can be directly transformed into executable and efficient software appears to be something many are after, especially if, in addition, the resolution / optimisation features are present (e.g. improving the modelled course of the process). Most people, however, engaged in similar activities, are simply accustomed to the millennia long tradition of mathematical notation and its direct use for expressing the models or problems. It would be very good if the methodologies, being developed by persons like Sleptsov and Zaitsev took into account this tradition and deep intuitions that stand behind them.
Jan Owsinski6 months ago
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This research is important
Jinsong Wu6 months ago
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Integrity is much needed quality these days. Likewise, we need more computer science nearly everywhere, including in social science!