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Security-Minded Verification for Autonomous Systems

   Department of Computer Science

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  Prof Clare Dixon, Dr Louise Dennis  Applications accepted all year round  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Autonomous robot systems are being developed in many fields for example

transportation, space, industry and healthcare. As well as considering whether these systems are safe we must also consider their security and that the risk of attack from malicious agents is minimised.

Formal verification is a mathematical analysis of systems used often to explore safety and functional properties. Threat modelling is a process identifying threats to a system posed by different actors and their associated risks. In previous work, jointly with researchers from the University of Warwick as part of the FAIR-SPACE project and we proposed a methodology combining formal verification with threat modelling, termed security-minded verification. 

This project aims to further develop, apply and analyse security-minded verification focusing on the verification aspects. The project will take place with input and collaboration with researchers at the University of Warwick and the University of Maynooth in conjunction to with the FAIR-SPACE project.

Funding Notes

Candidates who have been offered a place for PhD study in the Department of Computer Science may be considered for funding by the Department. Further details on funding can be found at:


Maple, C., Bradbury, M., Yuan, H., Farrell, M., Dixon, C., Fisher, M. & Atmaca, U. I., Security-Minded Verification of Space Systems2020, IEEE Aerospace Conference (
Farrell, M., Bradbury, M., Fisher, M., Dennis, L. A., Dixon, C., Yuan, H. & Maple, C., Using Threat Analysis Techniques to Guide Formal Verification: A Case Study of Cooperative Awareness Messages, SEFM, 2019 (v).

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