Ashutosh Trivedi

Email: ashutosh.trivedi @
Web: Home , Twitter, Google Scholar, DBLP, ResearchID, ORCID , and ResearchGate.
Research Interests : Formal Methods · Automata Theory and Logic · Reinforcement Learning · Software Security · Cyber-Physical Systems
Education : Visveswaraya Regional College of Engineering Nagpur · Indian Institute of Technology Bombay · Univertsity of Warwick

“ My research focuses on applying rigorous mathematical reasoning techniques to design and analyze safe and secure cyber-physical systems (CPS) with guaranteed performance. I investigate foundational issues (decidability and complexity) related to modeling and analysis of CPS as well as practically focused tools that can be used by practitioners to analyze large systems at scale.

I am an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Colorado Boulder. I am affilited with the Programming Languages and Verification Group and the Theory Group at the University of Colorado Boulder.


  • Mungojerrie (beta release) is available for download.
  • I am teaching CSCI 5444 (Theory of Computation) this semester (Fall 2021: details on Canvas).

Current PhD Students

Graduated PhD Students

Current Research.

I am actively working on the following research projects:
  1. Formal Requirements in Reinforcement Learning. Reinforcement learning is an approach to controller synthesis where agents rely on reward signals to choose actions in order to satisfy Reinforcement Learning the requirements implicit in reward signals. Oftentimes non-experts have to come up with the requirements and their translation to rewards under significant time pressure, even though manual translation is time consuming and error prone. For safety-critical applications of reinforcement learning a rigorous design methodology is needed and, in particular, a principled approach to requirement specification and to the translation of objectives into the form required by reinforcement learning algorithms. Formal logic provides a foundation for the rigorous and unambiguous requirement specification of learning objectives. However, reinforcement learning algorithms require requirements to be expressed as scalar reward signals. We discuss a recent technique, called limit-reachability, that bridges this gap by faithfully translating logic-based requirements into the scalar reward form needed in model-free reinforcement learning. This technique enables the synthesis of controllers that maximize the probability to satisfy given logical requirements using off-the-shelf, model-free reinforcement learning algorithms.
    Related publications : [1], [2].

  2. Space/Time Analaysis for Cybersecurity. The goal of this DARPA-sponsored project is to develop new program analysis techniques to allow analysts to discover Java applications with exploitable security vulnerabilities such as availability Discriminer (denial-of-service) and confidentiality (side-channels) vulnerabilities due to space and time usage of the programs. In identifying availability and confidentiality problems, our focus is to minimize both false positives and false negatives. In addition, it is often desirable that every identified vulnerability is presented with sufficient evidence towards an exploit of the vulnerability. In the case of availability problems, such evidence should be in the form of an input that triggers excessive resource usage, while for confidentiality problems, such evidence may a be pair of inputs that result in differential resource usage. I am particularly interested in combining static analysis techniques with run-time analysis to pinpoint program vulnerabilities. In one of our recent publications [1], we present a new run-time analysis technique for debugging Java bytecode to uncover potential causes for side-channels in time.
    Related publications: [1], [2].

  3. Theory of Stochastic Hybrid Structures. The problem of mathematically modeling CPS is fundamental to analyzing their safety and security properties. However, CPS integrate many different aspects including time-criticality, nondeterminism, stochastic timed automata presence of multiple rational agents, rich continuous dynamics, stochastic behavior, and higher-level programming constructs such as heaps and recursion. This poses a fundamental challenge: a rich combination of these features yields models that are too complex to reason about. In this project I study several useful restrictions to these models to characterize the decidability/undecidability frontier as well as exact computational complexity of various verification and synthesis related questions. Parts of this projects were sponsored by a Liverpool-India fellowship, an IIT Bombay seed-grant, and the Indo-french project AVeRTS.
    Related publications : [1], [2], [3], [4], and [5].

  4. Theory of Streaming String Transducers. The beautiful theory of regular languages is the cornerstone of theoretical computer science and formal language theory. The perfect harmony among the languages of finite words definable using Streaming String Transducers abstract machines (deterministic finite automata), algebra (regular expressions and finite monoids), and logic (monadic second-order logic) did set the stage for the generalizations of the theory to the theory of regular languages of infinite words, trees, and partial orders. Alur and Cerny have proposed a model of transducers, called streaming string transducers, that for regular transformations seems to be as appealing model as deterministic finite automata for regular languages. The goal of this project is to study theoretical properties of streaming string transducers and their applications in verification of CPS. This project has been supported by the NSF Expeditions in Computing award 1138996 and an IITB seed-grant.
    Related publications : [1], [2], [3], and [4].

Selected Publications.

  1. Discriminating Traces with Time
    Saeid Tizpaz-Niari, Pavol Cerny, Bor-Yuh Evan Chang, Sriram Sankaranarayanan, and Ashutosh Trivedi
    In Proc. of International Conference on Tools and Algorithms for the Construction and Analysis of Systems (TACAS 2017).

  2. Mean-Payoff Games on Timed Automata .
    Shibashis Guha, Marcin Jurdzinski, Krishna S. and Ashutosh Trivedi.
    In Proc. of Foundations of Software Technology and Theoretical Computer Science, FSTTCS 2016.

  3. Symmetric Strategy Improvment .
    Sven Schewe, Ashutosh Trivedi, Thomas Varghese.
    In Proc. of the 42nd International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2015).

  4. Regular Transformations of Infinite Strings.
    Rajeev Alur, Emmanuel Filiot, and Ashutosh Trivedi.
    Proceedings of the 27th Annual IEEE/ACM Symposium on Logic in Computer Science, LICS 2012.

  5. Optimal Scheduling for Constant-Rate Multi-Mode System.
    Rajeev Alur, Ashutosh Trivedi, and Dominik Wojtczak.
    Proceedings of the 15th ACM international conference on Hybrid Systems: Computation and Control, HSCC 2012.
    Best paper award, HSCC, CPS Week 2012.

  6. Recursive Timed Automata.
    Ashutosh Trivedi and Dominik Wojtczak.
    Proceedings of 8th International Symposium on Automated Technology for Verification and Analysis, ATVA 2010.

  7. Reachability-Time Games on Timed Automata [Full version].
    Marcin Jurdzinski and Ashutosh Trivedi.
    Proceedings of 34th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages and Programming, ICALP 2007.