Conference:Verification Futures 2017 (click here to see full programme)
Speaker:Kerstin Eder (Professor of Computer Science), University of Bristol
Presentation Title:Intelligent testing: Introducing Agency Into the Test Environment
Abstract:Coverage-Driven Verification (CDV) is as a systematic, goal directed simulation-based verification method that is capable of exploring systems of realistic detail under a broad range of environment conditions, providing a high degree of automation. Introducing agency into a CDV environment allows us to achieve a higher level of control over the test generation process, increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of simulation-based verification.
In this presentation I will illustrate the benefits of agent-based test generation on the example of code used to control robots that directly interact with humans. Compared to traditional model-based test generation, agent models are more intuitive to write, smaller in terms of model size, more predictable to explore and achieve equal if not higher coverage

  • No matter how clever your robot, the testing environment needs to reflect the agency your robot will meet in its target environment.
  • Agent-based testing outperforms traditional approaches to test generation.
  • Verification agents enable goal-directed, interactive test generation
Speaker Bio:Dr Kerstin Eder is a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Bristol. She set up the Energy Aware COmputing (EACO) initiative ( and leads the Verification and Validation for Safety in Robots research theme at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory ( Her research is focused on specification, verification and analysis techniques that allow engineers to design a system and to verify/explore its behaviour in terms of functional correctness, performance and energy efficiency. Kerstin has gained extensive experience of verifying complex microelectronic designs while working with leading semiconductor design and Electronic Design Automation companies. In her research she seeks novel techniques to achieve solutions that make a difference in practice. Her most recent work includes intelligent, agent-based testing of code for robots that directly interact with humans, using assertion checks and theorem proving to verify control system designs, energy modelling of software and static analysis to predict energy consumption of programs. She is particularly interested in safety assurance for learning machines.

Kerstin was a Principal Investigator of the EC FP7 FET MINECC (Minimizing Energy Consumption of Computing to the Limit) collaborative research project ENTRA (Whole Systems Energy Transparency), which developed techniques to promote energy efficiency to a first class software design goal utilizing advanced energy modelling and static analysis techniques. At the Bristol Robotics Laboratory she is the Principal Investigator of two EPSRC projects: RIVERAS (Robust Integrated Verification of Autonomous Systems) and ROBOSAFE (Trustworthy Robotic Assistants). Kerstin has co-authored over 60 internationally refereed publications and was awarded a Royal Academy of Engineering “Excellence in Engineering” prize. She holds a PhD in Computational Logic, an MSc in Artificial Intelligence and an MEng in Informatics.