Professor Jie Xu


I am the leader for a Research Peak of Excellence at Leeds, the director of the EPSRC-funded White Rose Grid e-Science Centre, and the head of the Distributed Systems and Services group at Leeds.

The EPSRC-funded WRG e-Science centre (2002-2014), led by me, is a highly successful and internationally leading e-Research centre. It represents a strategic partnership between the three major Yorkshire research universities - Leeds, Sheffield and York - which has added significant value to their research projects in the areas of Internet-Based Computing and Advanced Engineering Applications (e.g. a highly successful partnership with Rolls-Royce), raising the national and international profile of the universities. From an initial investment of £7 million from the three universities, the centre has gone on to generate research income from both research councils and industry worth more than £20 million over the last 10 years.

I have worked in the field of Distributed Computing Systems for over thirty years and had industrial experience in building large-scale networked computer systems. I am now leading a collaborative research team, investigating fundamental theories and models for distributed systems (e.g. the theory for fault-diagnosable and large-scale distributed systems, and the formalisation for dynamic multi-party authentication) and developing advanced Internet and Cloud technologies with a focus on complex system engineering (e.g. with Rolls-Royce and JLR), energy-efficient computing (e.g. with Google and Alibaba), dependable and secure collaboration (e.g. large-scale data processing and analysis for social science and e-healthcare applications with TPP and X-Lab Ltd), and evolving system architectures (e.g. with BAE Systems).

I was Professor of Distributed Systems at Durham University ( before I joined the School of Computing at Leeds in 2003.


  • Head of Distributed Systems and Services

Research interests

My main research interests are on  massive-scale distributed computing systems and complex resource  management  for  Cloud  computing  and  big  data,  focusing  on  modeling,  simulation, analysis,  and  evaluation  of  such  systems  and  applications.  I am also  working  on  system and software dependability,  including software fault tolerance, and rapid error recovery in Cloud data centres. I have had for many years an exceptional track record of continuously obtaining and successfully delivering large-scale research projects. My research activities have been supported so far by more than 20 research projects, mainly from the UK Research Councils, TSB/DTI, JISC, EU and industrial sources, e.g. being the PI for the prestigious EPSRC Platform grant (WRG Phase III, 2008-14, £0.86M, with a total over £1.2M since 2002). You may find more details of my research at

I have published in excess of 300 academic papers, book chapters and edited books in areas largely related to exploring and building dependable distributed systems. My major work has appeared in IEEE Transactions on Computers, IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems, and IEEE Computer, e.g. recent publications include:

  1. R. Yang, Y. Zhang, P. Garraghan, Y. Feng, J. Ouyang, J. Xu, Z. Zhang, and C. Li, "Reliable Computing Service in Massive-scale Systems through Rapid Low-cost Failover," accepted to appear in Special Issue on Security and Dependability of Cloud Systems and Services, IEEE Transactions on Services Computing, 2016

  2. P.Garraghan, D. Mckee, D.Webster, X. Ouyang, and J. Xu, "SEED: A Scalable Framework for Cyber-physical System Simulation", accepted to appear in Special Issue on Cyber-Physical Systems and Services, IEEE Transactions on Services Computing, 2015

  3. I.S. Moreno, P. Garraghan, P. Townend, and J. Xu, “Analysis, Modeling and Simulation of Workload Patterns in a Large-Scale Utility Cloud,” IEEE Transactions on Cloud Computing, vol. 2, pp. 208-221, 2014
  4. Garraghan, I.S. Moreno, P. Townend, and J. Xu, “An Analysis of Failure-Related Energy Waste in a Large-Scale Cloud Environment,” IEEE Transactions on Emerging Technologies, vol.2, pp. 166-180, 2014


  • BEng (Chongqing, China)
  • MSc (Chongqing, China)
  • PhD (Newcastle)

Professional memberships

  • IEEE member
  • BCS member

Student education

I have a teaching role in the school for undergraduate degree courses and MSc degree courses. I also supervise a number of PhD students in the areas of distributed computing systems and Cloud computing.

Research groups and institutes

  • Distributed Systems and Services