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McKelvey School of Engineering

Brown School

Assuring Safety of Learning-Enabled Systems with Perception Contracts

Friday, November 10, 2023 | 11:00 AM

Uncas A. Whitaker Hall, 218
6760 Forest Park Pkwy, St. Louis, MO 63105, USA

Sayan Mitra
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering 
University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign

Formal verification of deep learning models remains challenging, and yet they are integral in safety-critical autonomous systems. We present framework for certifying end-to-end safety of learning-enabled autonomous systems using perception contracts. The method flows from the observation that the role of learning-based perception is often state estimation, and that the error characteristics of such estimators can be succinct, testable, and amenable to formal analysis. Our framework constructs approximations of perception models, using system-level safety requirements and program analysis. Mathematically proving that a given perception model conforms to a contract will be a challenge, but empirical measures of conformance can provide confidence levels to safety claims. We will discuss recent applications of this framework in creating low-dimensional, intelligible contracts and end-to-end safety certificates for vision-based lane keeping, automated landing, and in runtime monitoring.

Event Type



McKelvey School of Engineering


Science & Technology

Computer Science & Engineering
Event Contact


Speaker Information

Sayan Mitra is a Professor, Associate Head of Grad affairs, and John Bardeen Faculty Scholar of ECE at UIUC. Sayan received his PhD from MIT and his research is on formal verification and safe autonomy. His textbook on verification of cyber-physical systems was published in 2021 (MIT press).  Former PhD students from his group are now professors at Vanderbilt, NC Chapel Hill, MIT, and WashU. His group's work has been recognized with ACM Doctoral Dissertation Award, NSF CAREER Award, AFOSR YIP,  and several best paper awards.

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