Lu Feng

Associate Professor
University of Virginia

Research Overview

Cyber-physical systems (CPS) are increasingly being deployed throughout society and revolutionizing a range of applications domains such as transportation and healthcare. While tremendous progress has been made in advancing CPS technologies over the past decades, the safety assurance of CPS still poses significant challenges, which can lead to catastrophic failures (e.g., self-driving car crashes, robot-caused fatalities). My research focuses on assuring the safety and trustworthiness of CPS. Specifically, my current research tackles challenges in the following themes.

Safety of AI-enabled CPS

The data-rich nature (e.g., enormous sensing data) of CPS has resulted in AI and machine learning technologies increasingly being embedded in CPS. Nevertheless, many existing AI systems lack safety guarantees. My research develops novel approaches that integrate formal methods and AI algorithms to provide mathematically rigorous guarantees about the safety of AI-enabled CPS. Some of my recent papers in this theme include

Trust in Human-CPS

There is a growing trend toward human-CPS, where systems collaborate or interact with humans to harness complementary strengths of humans and autonomy. My research develops novel approaches that model and reason about human behavior, improve human's trust and increase the system transparency by providing explanations about the automation. Some of my recent papers in this theme include

Formal Methods for Large-Scale CPS

The prevalence of smart and connected devices has enabled the emergence of large-scale CPS testbeds such as smart cities, which include millions of sensors and actuators. Failure of safety assurance can result in conflicts among smart services or even catastrophic outcomes. My vision is to develop scalable formal methods that can assure real-time operations of smart services at a city scale satisfying safety and performance requirements. Some of my recent papers in this theme include

Please check my Google Scholar page for a more complete list of publications.


I gratefully acknowledge ongoing and past support from National Science Foundation (CCF-2131511, CCF-1942836, CNS-1739333, CRII CNS-1755784), National Institutes of Health, Office of Naval Research, Air Force Office of Scientific Research,Toyota InfoTech Labs, Assuring Autonomy International Programme, 4-VA Collaborative Research Grant, James S. McDonnell Foundation, Center for Innovative Technology, Northrop Grumman Corporation, and UVa SEAS.