In this paper we propose an extension to the formalism of timed automata by allowing urgent transitions. An urgent transition is a transition which must be taken within a fixed time interval from its enabling time and it has higher priority than other non-urgent transitions enabled in the same state. We give a set of rules formally describing the behavior of urgent transitions and we show that, from a language theoretic point of view, the addition of urgency does not improve the expressive power of timed automata. From a specification point of view, the use of urgent transitions allows shorter and clear specifications of behaviors involving urgency and priority. We use timed automata with urgent transitions for specifying a multicast protocol for mobile computing.
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