Yordan Hristov

PhD student

University of Edinburgh


PhD student at the Robust Autonomy and Decisions group, part of the Insitute for Perception, Action and Behaviour at the University of Edinburgh. I am supervised by Dr. Subramanian Ramamoorthy and Prof. Alex Lascarides.

My research interests stem from the field of Human-Robot Interaction, and revolve around achieving semantic alignment between human experts and robotic agents. I work on methods for physical symbol grounding and neural semi-supervised representation learning, utilising task-informed inductive biases.


  • Human-Robot Interaction
  • Learning from Demonstration
  • Disentanglement Learning
  • (Physical) Symbol Grounding


  • PhD in Robotics and Autonomous Systems, 2021

    University of Edinburgh

  • BSc with Honours in Computer Science, 2016

    University of Edinburgh


Learning from Demonstration with Weakly Supervised Disentanglement

Robotic manipulation tasks, such as wiping with a soft sponge, require control from multiple rich sensory modalities. Human-robot …

Composing Diverse Policies for Temporally Extended Tasks

Robot control policies for temporally extended and sequenced tasks are often characterized by discontinuous switches between different …

Disentangled Relational Representations for Explaining and Learning from Demonstration

Learning from demonstration is an effective method for human users to instruct desired robot behaviour. However, for most non-trivial …

Hybrid system identification using switching density networks

Behaviour cloning is a commonly used strategy for imitation learning and can be extremely effective in constrained domains. However, in …

Using Causal Analysis to Learn Specifications from Task Demonstrations

Learning models of user behaviour is an important problem that is broadly applicable across many application domains requiring …



Research Associate

University of Edinburgh

Aug 2020 – Present Edinburgh, UK
Part of a project on Trustworthy Autonomy. Apply different inductive biases and model structures - Graph NNs, Koopman theory - to the problem of robustly modelling nonlinear dynamics of deformable objects.

Machine Learning Intern

Amazon Development Center Scotland

Jun 2017 – Oct 2017 Edinburgh, UK
Did named entity disanbiguation utilising high-parameter neural models.

Software Engineering Intern


Jun 2016 – Aug 2016 Edinburgh, UK
Developed internal tool for asset management in the Hotels dev team.

Technology Summer Analyst

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Jun 2015 – Aug 2015 London, UK
Worked on tools for analysing and reporting the throughput of the software of the Global Markets Technology division


Disentanglement != Axis Alignment

TL;DR - The bottleneck layer of a VAE might be disentangled, up to a rotation, which might make it look entangled upon the standard …


  • Informatics Forum, 10 Chrichton St, Edinburgh, Scotland, EH8 9AB