Search course

Use the search function to find more information about the study programmes and courses available at Chalmers. When there is a course homepage, a house symbol is shown that leads to this page.

Graduate courses

Departments' graduate courses for PhD-students.


Syllabus for

Academic year
SSY165 - Introduction to discrete event systems
Syllabus adopted 2008-02-21 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: MPSYS
7,5 Credits
Grading: TH - Five, Four, Three, Not passed
Education cycle: Second-cycle
Major subject: Automation and Mechatronics Engineering, Electrical Engineering

Teaching language: English

Course module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 No Sp
0107 Examination 5,0c Grading: TH   5,0c   23 Oct 2008 am V,  14 Jan 2009 pm V,  25 Aug 2009 am V
0207 Laboratory 2,5c Grading: UG   2,5c    

In programs



Professor  Bengt Lennartson


For single subject courses within Chalmers programmes the same eligibility requirements apply, as to the programme(s) that the course is part of.

Course specific prerequisites

Basic mathematical and programming skills. A basic knowledge in control engineering is recommended.


The course aims to give fundamental knowledge and skills in the area of discrete event systems and especially modeling and specification formalisms, simulation, synthesis, optimization and control function implementation. Typical applications are control functions for embedded systems, control of automated production systems, and communication systems.

Learning outcomes (after completion of the course the student should be able to)

After completion of this course, the students should be able to:
Use basic discrete mathematics in order to be able to analyze discrete event systems.
Give an account of different formalisms for modeling discrete event systems, especially finite state machines, extended finite state automata, timed automata, Petri nets, and Statecharts, and demonstrate skill to choose between them.

Give an account of different methods for modeling and specifying discrete event systems. Present different kinds of specifications, such as progress and safety specifications, defining what a system should and should not do. Use earned knowledge of the formalisms and methods when modeling different types of systems.
Explain important theories for analyzing the behavior of discrete event systems such as Supervisory Control Theory. Give an account for the meaning of supervisor synthesis, verification, and simulation. Present different properties of discrete event systems such as reachability, coreachability, and controllability.
Use computer tools in order to perform synthesis and optimization of control functions based on given system models and specifications of desired behavior for the total closed loop system.
Explain basic queuing theory. Describe scheduling with respect to both optimization and priority.
Construct and implement control functions based on industrial standards and components for programmable logic controllers PLCs.


The course covers the following topics:
Basic discrete mathematics, logical expressions and operations, sets and operations on sets, ordered sets, formal languages, functions and relations.
Modeling and specification of logic and sequential behaviors. Examples of modeling formalisms include formal languages, finite state machines, Petri nets and Statecharts.
Verification of safety and liveness properties, such as reachability, blocking, deadlock and forbidden states, through state-space search methods.
Synthesis and optimization of control functions based on given system models and specification of desired behavior of the controlled system.
Implementation of discrete event control functions (protocols) based on industrial standards and components, for example programmable controllers (PLCs).
Hand-in that reflects on how industrial automation affects mankind and society as a whole.


The course comprises lectures, exercises, and a number of assignments that address important parts of the course. These assignments involve modeling, specification, and synthesis and are to be handed in. One laboratory experiment, which deals with generation of control functions that are used for controlling the laboratory experiment equipment.


Bengt Lennartson: Introduction to Discrete Event Systems - Lecture Notes


Examination is based on a written exam, as well as passed hand-ins and lab exercises.

Page manager Published: Thu 04 Feb 2021.