The benefits of logistics and transportation systems to citizens, economy, and society can strongly increase when considering a smart, safe, and environmentally friendly management. This results in the implementation of intelligent transportation systems that combine innovative technologies and transportation frameworks at the aim of finding proper solutions to the related decision problems. To achieve such a goal, the intrinsic discrete event dynamics of these systems should be considered when deriving a model to be used for simulation, analysis, optimization, and control. Among the different discrete event models, Petri Nets (PNs) are particularly effective due to a series of relevant features. In addition, several high-level PN models (e.g., colored, continuous, or hybrid) allow the solution of complex and large dimension problems that typically arise from real-life applications in the area of freight logistics and transportation systems. This paper presents a survey on contributions in this area. Papers are classified according to the addressed problem, namely, strategic/tactical or operational decision-making-level problem, and the adopted PN formalism. We also debate the approaches' viability, discussing contributions and limitations, and identify future research directions to enhance the successful application of PNs in freight logistics and transportation systems.
Cavone, G., Dotoli, M., Seatzu, C. (2018). A Survey on Petri Net Models for Freight Logistics and Transportation Systems. IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON INTELLIGENT TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS, 19(6), 1795-1813 [10.1109/TITS.2017.2737788].