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Dr Matthew Patrick

Postdoctoral Research Associate
Dr Matthew Patrick
Department of Plant Sciences
University of Cambridge
Downing Street

Cambridge CB2 3EA
Office Phone: 01223 330229



  • Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (2015-Present)
  • Research Associate of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge (2014-Present)
  • Post-doctoral Research Associate, Department of Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge (2013-Present)
  • Software Engineering Intern, Agronomic Information Services, Syngenta International AG, Basel (2006 - 2007)


  • PhD, Computer Science, University of York (2009 - 2013), fully funded by EPSRC
  • MEng (1st class Hons.), Computer Systems and Software Engineering, University of York (2004 - 2009)


  • University of Cambridge/Wellcome Trust Junior Interdisciplinary Fellowship (1 year salary + travel funding)
  • Peter Warnock Travel Fund (£600)
  • Cambridge Philosophical Society Travel Grants (4 grants, total of £600)
  • Microsoft Azure Food Resilience Climate Data Award ($20,000)

Research Interests

I work on the verification and analysis of data at the confluence between Biology and Computer Science. My PhD used biologically-inspired techniques to identify regions of the input domain for software programs that are more likely to reveal faults. Considerable human effort is required to test software thoroughly, as the output of each test case has to be compared to the expected output for the program. Manual effort can be reduced by restricting the range of inputs testers need to consider to regions that are highly efficient for software testing. As a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Plant Sciences, I am developing techniques to characterise and assess the accuracy of host landscapes with regards to epidemiological modelling. This poses different problems to classical software testing because there is typically a large tolerance to variation and the spatial relationship between values is often more important than the actual values themselves.

I am particularly interested in the following research areas:

  • Spatial Analysis
  • Pattern Recognition
  • Metaheuristic Optimisation
  • Software Engineering

Other Professional Activities

  • Guest reviewer for Journal of Systems and Software (2016)
  • Successfully completed the University of Cambridge Teaching Associate Programme (2015)
  • Guest reviewer for Elsevier Information and Software Technology Journal (2015)
  • Guest reviewer for IEEE Transactions in Software Engineering (2015)
  • Guest reviewer for the 30th IEEE/ACM International Conference on Automated Software Engineering (2015)
  • Chair of two programme sessions at the IEEE International Conference on Modelling and Simulation (2014)
  • STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Ambassador) running a Code Club in York (2013)
  • Expert reviewer for a Special Issue of the Software Testing, Verification and Reliability Journal (2012)
  • Session chair and programme committee member for the York Doctoral Symposium (2012)

Key Publications

Patrick M, Castle MD, Stutt ROJH, Gilligan CA (2016) "Automatic Test Image Generation Using Procedural Noise." International Conference on Automated Software Engineering [in press]

Patrick M, Craig AP, Cunniffe NJ, Parry M, Gilligan CA (2016) "Testing Stochastic Software using Pseudo-Oracles." International Symposium on Software Testing and Analysis [in press]

Patrick M (2016) "Making Scientific Software Easier to Understand, Test and Communicate Through Software Engineering." In: Carver J, ed. Software Engineering for Science. Abingdon, United Kingdom: Taylor & Francis [in press].

Patrick M (2016) "Iterative Hypothesis Testing for Scientific Software." International Conference on Software Engineering and Knowledge Engineering Read online

Patrick M, Elderfield J, Stutt ROJH, Rice A, Gilligan CA (2016) "Software Testing in a Scientific Research Group." ACM Symposium on Applied Computing, pp. 1454-1459 Read online

Patrick M, Jia Y (2015) "KD-ART: Should we intensify or diversify tests to kill mutants?." Information and Software Technology [in press] Read online

Patrick M, Jia Y (2015) "Exploring the Landscape of Non-Functional Program Properties using Spatial Analysis." Symp. Search Based Softw. Eng., pp. 332-338 Read online

Patrick M, Jia Y (2015) "Kernel Density Adaptive Random Testing." Int. Works. Mutation Analysis, pp. 53-62 Read online

Patrick M (2015) "Metaheuristic Optimisation and Mutation-Driven Test Data Generation." In: Pedrycz W, Succi G, Sillitti A, eds. Computational Intelligence and Quantitative Software Engineering. Berlin, Germany: Springer-Verlag, pp. 89-115 Read online

Patrick M, Alexander R, Oriol M, Clark JA (2015) "Subdomain-Based Test Data Generation." J. Systems Software, 103, pp. 328-342 Read online

Patrick M, Stutt ROJH, Gilligan CA (2014) "Rasterising Epidemiological Host Data Efficiently." Int. Conf. Modelling Simulation, pp. 232-237 Read online

Patrick M, Alexander R, Oriol M, Clark JA (2014) "Probability-Based Semantic Interpretation of Mutants." Int. Works. Mutation Analysis, pp. 186-195 Read online

Patrick M, Alexander R, Oriol M, Clark JA (2013)  "Highly Efficient Sets of Subdomains for Mutation Adequacy." Asia-Pacific Software Eng. Conf., pp. 91-98 Read online

Patrick M, Alexander R, Oriol M, Clark JA (2013) "Efficient Subdomains for Random Testing." Symp. Search Based Softw. Eng. pp. 251-256 Read online

Patrick M, Alexander R, Oriol M, Clark JA (2013) "Using Mutation Analysis to Evolve Subdomains for Random Testing." Int. Works. Mutation Analysis pp. 53-62 Read online

Patrick M, Oriol M, Clark JA (2012) "MESSI: Mutant Evaluation by Static Semantic Interpretation." Int. Works. Mutation Analysis pp. 711-719 Read online

Patrick M, Oriol M (2010) "Evaluating YETI using Open Source Software." York Doctoral Symp. Read online

Patrick M (2010) "Online Evolution in Unreal Tournament 2004." Comp. Intell. Games pp. 249-256 Read online

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