Sven Schewe


Sven Schewe I gained a Diplom degree in Computer Science (Diplom Informatiker) with a minor in Operations Research and Planning in 1997 from the University of the Federal Armed Forces Munich. Then I worked in the Command and Control Systems Command of the German Navy as a Systems Engineer in different fields of the analysis and construction of safety-critical systems, including the specification and construction of such systems as well as quality assurance and project management. To complement this, I gave myself a treat and studied Math at the FernUniversität in Hagen, earning a degree in Mathematics (Diplom Mathematiker) in 2004. Returning to education, I joined the Reactive Systems Group at the Department of Computer Science of Saarland University in 2004, and obtained a PhD (Dr. rer. nat.) in Computer Science in 2008, moving on to an academic position in Liverpool.

I am a Professor at the Department of Computer Science of the University of Liverpool, where I have lead the AI Section till our recent restructuring (2021). I am a founding member and former leader of our Verification Group and have a secondary affiliation with the Algorithms, Complexity Theory and Optimisation Group. I am also affiliated with the Institute for Risk and Uncertainty.

Research Interests

I am interested in automata and game theory and its applications in the construction and analysis of safety-critical systems. This includes constructions and decision procedures for automata over infinite words and trees and games with infinite duration, as well as algorithms and tools for the automated verification and synthesis of reactive systems and approaches to learn or infer optimal control strategies. My research concerns reactive computer systems and protocols: systems of concurrent processes that interact with each other and with their environment over a possibly infinite run. This family of systems contains many safety-critical applications like air traffic control systems, communication controllers in automotive systems, and security protocols. I study automated methods that prove that an implementation satisfies a logical property (verification); that derive implementations from logical specifications (synthesis); and that build models from observations (learning).

Research Projects

I am a CI on the EPSRC Programme Grant Digital Navigation of Chemical Space for Function, led by Matthew Rosseinsky (December 2021--November 2026).

Together with Dominik Wojtczak (CI) and Narges Khakpour (Newcastle PI on a sister project), I (PI) will study in our EPSRC project TRUSTED: SecuriTy SummaRies for SecUre SofTwarE Development (September 2023--August 2026).

Together with Pierre Ohlmann (Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow), I (PI) will study Valuation Structures for Infinite Duration Games in our Horizon Europe project (from December 2023).

Together with Yong Li (Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow), I (PI) study Reinforcement Learning for Finite Horizons in our Horizon Europe project (October 2022--October 2024).

Together with Daniele Dell'Erba, Patrick Totzke, and Dominik Wojtczak (CIs), and Ravi Kant Rai (PDRA), I (PI) study non-terminating games in our EPSRC New Horizons project Under the Branches of Universal Trees (April 2023--September 2024).

Together with Daniele Dell'Erba (Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow), I (PI) study Synthesising Game Solving Techniques in our Horizon 2020 project (July 2021--July 2023).

Together with Xiaowei Huang (Liverpool PI) and Qiyi Tang (RA), I (CI) study Foundations for Continuous Engineering of Trustworthy Autonomy on our Horizon 2020 project (October 2020--September 2023).

Together with Dominik Wojtczak (lead PI), Dietmar Berwanger (French PI), I (CI) have studied Bluffing Games on our Royal Society Collaboration Project (September 2020--August 2022).

Together with Karoliina Lehtinen (Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow), I (PI) have studied Foundations of Composition in our Horizon 2020 project (April 2020--March 2022).

Together with John Fearnley and Dominik Wojtczak (CIs), and Daniele Dell'Erba; and with Marcin Jurdziński (Warwick PI) and Ranko Lazic (Warwick CI); I (PI) study parity games and the theoretical and practical challenges they pose in our EPSRC project on Solving Parity Games in Theory and Practice (August 2017--February 2021 + a CoViD extentions till June 2021).

Together with Krishna S (IIT Bombay PI), Akshay S, and Dominik Wojtczak (CIs), I (Liverpool PI) am studying Time-Critical Distributed Software on our UKIERI SPARC project TiCDSoft (or rather, we would if CoViD would let us; November 2019--March 2021)

Together with Ernst Moritz Hahn (Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow), I (PI) have studied Parametrised Verification and Control in our Horizon 2020 project (November 2017--October 2019).

Together with Nicolas Berthier (RA), Dominik Wojtczak (CI), Richard Mayr (Edinburgh PI), and our industrial partner Atrenta, I (PI) have studied the desing of energy efficient circuits in the EPSRC project Energy Efficient Control (September 2015--August 2019).
Ashutosh Trivedi and Mohamed Faouzi Atig have supported us as visiting researchers.

Together with Hamzah Faraj, I study the Optimal Control of Simple Hybrid Systems, supported by an overseas PhD scholarship from the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (since April 2018).

Together with Mete Özbaltan, I have studied concise and efficient circuit control, supported by an overseas PhD scholarship from the Turkish Government (October 2015--June 2020).

Together with Matthew Stock, I have studied Realistic Model Prediction for Managing Risk in Nuclear Decommissioning, supported by an EPSRC studentship from the RISK CDT (September 2017--September 2018).

Together with Idress Husien, I have studied the control of adaptive systems and self learning intelligent systems, supported by an overseas PhD scholarship from the Iraqi Government (January 2014--December 2017).

Together with Dietmar Berwanger, I have studied Coordination Games and Distributed Architectures. Dietmar's research visit was supported by a Visiting Fellowship.

Together with Doron Peled, I have studied the Fairness in Distributed Systems. Doron's research visit was supported by a Visiting Fellowship.

Together with Anshul Gupta, I have studied equilibria of non-terminating multi player games, supported by a studentship of the School of Electrical Engineering, Electronics and Computer Science (February 2013--July 2016).

Together with Thomas Praveen Methrayil Varghese, I have studied finite automata over infinite objects, supported by the competitive International Doctoral Studentship, funded by the EPSRC (November 2011--July 2015).

Together with Doron Peled, I have studied the Fairness in Distributed systems. Doron's research visit was supported by a Visiting Fellowship.

Together with Ashutosh Trivedi, I have studied the Stochastic Control of Cyber-Physical Systems. Ashutosh's research visit is supported by a Liverpool India Fellowship.

Together with Lijun Zhang, I have studied the Analysis and Control of Markovian Systems. Lijun's research visit is supported by a Visiting Fellowship.

Together with John Fearnley (RA), Lesie Ann Goldberg (CI till June 2013), Tom Shenton (CI), and Dominik Wojtczak (CI since June 2013), I (PI) have studied the control of Markov games and decision processes in the EPSRC project Synthesis and Verification in Markov Game Structures (October 2010--November 2013).

I have visited Anca Muscholl on a Visiting Professorship from Université Bordeaux I in September 2012 and January 2013.

I have visited Farn Wang on a travel grant for international scholars from the National Taiwan University in October 2012.

Together with Doron Peled, I have studied the synthesis of concise systems in February 2012, supported by a travel grant of the ESF Networking Programme on Games for Design and Verification.

Together with Nathlie Bertrand, I have studied the Analysis of Probabilistic Systems. Nathalie's sabbatical visit from November 2011 till July 2012 was supported by a Leverhulme Visiting Fellowship.

Together with Doron Peled, I have studied the control of distributed monitors on our joint Royal Society grant Synthesising Permissive Monitors (November 2010--February 2011).

I have also been associated with the EPSRC funded project Verifying Interoperability Requirements in Pervasive Systems.

If you are interested in drafting a research project with me, please contact me. If you want to do a PhD with me, please contact me as well.


Current Courses

COMP524 - Safety and Dependability (since 2008/2009)
The module on "safety and dependability" covers topics such as: safety-critical systems, security, trusted systems, dependability and reliability, formal requirements engineering, design and development techniques and verification techniques. The module is intended for MSc students of six MSc programmes, MRes students, and MEng students in their final year. 

Previous Courses

University of Liverpool

COMP516 - Research Methods in Computer Science (2014/15, 2015/16, and 2016/17, with Dominik Wojtczak)
The module on "research methods" spans four MSc programmes. It is an introductory course on research in computer science on the postgraduate level. 
COMP525 - Reasoning About Action and Change (2009/2010)
Dynamism and rapid change are features of the modern world. The module on "reasoning about action and change" is concerned with how to specify and verify dynamic systems. Different approaches to representing and reasoning about systems that change are studied, including topics such as: temporal logic, model checking, dynamic logic, and modelling change in artificial intelligence. Such techniques are useful in detecting errors in the design of systems at an early stage. The module is intended for MSc students. 

Saarland University, Co-Lectured with Bernd Finkbeiner

Automata, Games, and Verification (SS 08)
The theory of automata over infinite objects provides a succinct, expressive and formal framework for reasoning about reactive systems, such as communication protocols and control systems. Reactive systems are characterized by their non-terminating behaviour and persistent interaction with their environment. In this course we study the main ingredients of this elegant theory, and its application to automatic verification (model checking) and program synthesis. 
Games in Verification and Synthesis (SS 08)
In this seminar, we will study game-theoretic methods that derive implementations from formal specifications (synthesis) and that prove that a given implementation satisfies a logical property (verification). In both cases, we view the interaction between a software component and its environment as an infinite game; verification then amounts to checking that the strategy represented by the program is winning; synthesis amounts to deriving a winning strategy from a logical description of the winning condition.
Bachelor Seminar (WS 07/08) 
Verification (WS 07/08)
This course gives an introduction to various fields of systems verification, with an emphasis on algorithmic verification (model checking) and deductive verification (theorem proving). 
Automata, Games, and Verification (WS 06/07) 
Bachelor Seminar (SS 05) 

Research Students

Current Students

First Supervisor

Second Supervisor

Former Students

External Examinees

Internal Examinee


Here is a BibTex file containing references to most items listed below.





Sven Schewe. Synthesis of Distributed Systems. PhD Thesis. 



Sven Schewe and Lijun Zhang. Editorial \96 Special issue on Concurrency Theory (CONCUR 2018). Journal of Computer and System Sciences, 2021. 
Sven Schewe, Thomas Schneider, and Jef Wijsen. Special issue on Temporal Representation and Reasoning (TIME 2017). Theoretical Computer Science, 797:1, 2019. 
Sven Schewe and Lijun Zhang. Proceedings of 29th International Conference on Concurrency Theory (CONCUR 2018). Leibnitz International Proceedings in Informatics 118, 2018. 
Sven Schewe, Thomas Schneider, and Jef Wijsen. Proceedings of 24th International Symposium on Temporal Representation and Reasoning (TIME 2017). Leibnitz International Proceedings in Informatics 90, 2017. 
Doron Peled and Sven Schewe. Editorial: Special Issue on Synthesis. Acta Informatica 51(3-4), 2014. 
Doron Peled and Sven Schewe. Proceedings of the First Workshop on Synthesis. EPTCS 84, 2012. 

Professional Activities

Past Visitors


I am head of our AI Section since 2018. Before that, I have led the Verification Group from its introduction in 2015. I am also affiliated with the Institute for Risk and Uncertainty.
I am a member of our Senate.
I also serve as the Admission Officer for Postgraduate Research students of the Department of Computer Science, and as a reviewer of our Ethics committee.
From 2010 to 2013, I have served as Undergrad Admission Officer, as an elected member of our Board of Studies, and as a member of the Board of Examiners for our joint courses with Carmel College and our disance learning programmes with Laureate, and as Widening Participation Officer of the School of Electrical Engineering, Electronics and Computer Science. Prior to that, I was the Deputy Exams and Assessment Officer of our department.


Finalist for the ERCIM Cor Baayen Award 2010. Annual career award of the European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics (ERCIM) for young researchers in computer science and applied mathematics. 

Dr. Eduard Martin Preis 2009. Annual interdisciplinary award for outstanding theses of Saarland University.

GI Dissertation Award 2008. Annual award for the best computer science dissertation in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. The prize is jointly awarded by the Gesellschaft für Informatik e.V. (GI), Schweizer Informatik Gesellschaft (SI), Österreichischen Computergesellschaft (OCG), and the German Chapter of the ACM (GChACM)

Contact Details

  Sven Schewe
  University of Liverpool
  Department of Computer Science
  Ashton Building
  Ashton Street
  Liverpool L69 3BX
  United Kingdom

Office: Room 2.15, Ashton Building email tel (+44 151) 795 0396 fax (+44 151) 795 4235