Research Interests

My research is mainly in the domain of real-time embedded systems, cyber-physical systems and autonomous systems. My research vision is to work towards adaptive, safe and predictable real-time systems. My main research covers the following research topics:

  • Real-time systems, including scheduling and allocation on single- and multi-cores, and timing predictable hardware;
  • Flexible and feedback-based methods for task/network scheduling in CPS;
  • Control-scheduling co-design and design automation of CPS;
  • Using Digital Twins for design, verification and optimization of real-time systems and CPS;
  • Assuring timing and safety of robotic and autonomous systems.

I am working with researchers from the UK, US, France, Portugal and China (mainland, Taiwan and HongKong), and I am open to collaborations related to these topics and fields, addressing open problems both from industry and academia, with a focus on timing guarantee.

Research Projects

➤ MOCHA: Modelling and Optimising Complex Heterogenous Architectures

(2019 - 2022) PostDoc Reseacher, University of York
Funded by Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd, £985,927

The applications and resources (processors, networks and memory) for real-time systems are becoming ever more complex to understand, control and maintain. This has led to research into building statistical models of systems and adaptive policies based on these statistical models.

The key challenges that emerge are whether the models reflect how the system would behave during operation, how systems should deal with unexpected or rarely occurring scenarios, and then how to optimise systems based on the behaviours of the systems. It is specifically to address the high overheads of current systems and the low cache hit rates that are currently achieved.

[Project Website]

➤ DEIS: Dependability Engineering Innovation for CPS

(2018 - 2019) PostDoc Researcher, University of York
Funded by EU Horizon 2020, €4.9M

Cyber-Physical-Systems (CPS) provide the potential for vast economic and societal impact in domains such as automotive, health care and home automation. The open and cooperative nature of CPS poses a significant new challenge in assuring dependability. The DEIS project addresses this important and unsolved challenge by developing technologies that enable a science of dependable system integration. Such technologies facilitate the efficient synthesis of components and systems based on their dependability information. The key innovation in the approach of the DEIS project is the concept of Digital Dependability Identity (DDI). A DDI contains all the information that uniquely describes the dependability characteristics of a CPS component. DDIs are used for the integration of components into systems during development as well as for the dynamic integration of systems into systems of systems in the field.

[Project Website] | [DDI Demo Video]

➤ ATAS: Adaptive Task Scheduling Framework for CPS

(2015 - 2018) PhD Research Student, University of York

In a Cyber-Physical Control System (CPCS), there is often a hybrid of hard real-time tasks which have stringent timing requirements and soft real-time tasks that are computationally intensive. The task scheduling of such systems is challenging and requires flexible schemes that can meet the timing requirements without being over-conservative.

In this study, an adaptive real-time scheduling framework for CPCS is presented. The adaptive scheduler has a hierarchical structure and it is built on top of a traditional FPS scheduler. The idea of dynamic worst-case execution time is introduced and its cause and methods to identify the existence of a trend are discussed. An adaptation method that uses monitored statistical information to update control task periods is then introduced. Finally, this method is extended by proposing a dual-period model that can switch between multiple operational modes at run-time. The proposed framework can be potentially extended in many aspects and some of these are discussed in the future work. All proposals of this thesis are supported by extensive analysis and evaluations.

Research Involvement

Other research projects I am informally involved as a contributor/collaborator:

➤ AAIP: The Assuring Autonomy International Programme

➤ CyPhyAssure

➤ FiC: Future factories in the Cloud