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Personal profile

Research interests

  • Probabilistic verification of autonomous systems.
  • Bayesian inference with partial and limited prior knowledge.
  • Exploring the limits of what can be claimed rigorously for system reliability.
  • Modelling of software design diversity for fault tolerance.


Xingyu Zhao received his BEng in Software Engineering and MSc in Control Science and Engineering from Beihang University, Beijing. He joined the Centre for Software Reliability (CSR), City, University of London as a PhD student and obtained a doctorate degree in Computer Science. In May 2018, he joined the Smart System Group at Heriot-Watt University and has been doing research on developing practical self-certification methods for robotics and autonomous systems. Since Jan. 2019, he is also a Programme Fellow of the Assuring Autonomy International Programme at University of York.

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Research Output

  • 12 Conference contribution
  • 6 Article

A Safety Framework for Critical Systems Utilising Deep Neural Networks

Zhao, X., Banks, A., Sharp, J., Robu, V., Flynn, D., Fisher, M. & Huang, X., 2020, Computer Safety, Reliability, and Security. SAFECOMP 2020. Casimiro, A., Ferreira, P., Ortmeier, F. & Bitsch, F. (eds.). Springer, p. 244-259 16 p. (Lecture Notes in Computer Science; vol. 12234).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Open Access
  • 1 Citation (Scopus)
    3 Downloads (Pure)

    Assessing Safety-Critical Systems from Operational Testing: A Study on Autonomous Vehicles

    Zhao, X., Salako, K., Strigini, L., Robu, V. & Flynn, D., 19 Aug 2020, In : Information and Software Technology. 128, 106393.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 6 Downloads (Pure)

    Interval change-point detection for runtime probabilistic model checking

    Zhao, X., Calinescu, R., Gerasimou, S., Robu, V. & Flynn, D., 31 Jul 2020, (Accepted/In press) 35th IEEE/ACM International Conference on Automated Software Engineering.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

    Open Access
  • 1 Downloads (Pure)

    On Reliability Assessment When a Software-based System Is Replaced by a Thought-to-be-Better One

    Littlewood, B., Salako, K., Strigini, L. & Zhao, X., May 2020, In : Reliability Engineering and System Safety. 197, 106752.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 2 Citations (Scopus)

    The Application of Machine Learning and Low Frequency Sonar for Subsea Power Cable Integrity Evaluation

    Tang, W., Flynn, D., Brown, K. E., Robu, V. & Zhao, X., 20 Jan 2020, OCEANS 2019 MTS/IEEE SEATTLE. IEEE, 8962840

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

  • Prizes

    Best Paper Award Finalist, The 30th International Symposium on Software Reliability Engineering (ISSRE 2019)

    Zhao, Xingyu (Recipient), Robu, Valentin (Recipient), Flynn, David (Recipient), Kizito Salako (Recipient) & Lorenzo Strigini (Recipient), 28 Oct 2019

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)