Embedded cores are being increasingly used in the design of large system-on-a-chip (SoC). Because of the high complexity of SoC, the design verification is a challenge for system integrators. To reduce the verification complexity, the port-order fault (POF) model was proposed. It has been used for verifying core-based designs and the corresponding verification pattern generation has been developed. Here, the authors present an automorphic technique to improve the efficiency of the automatic verification pattern generation (AVPG) for SoC design verification based on the POF model. On average, the size of pattern sets obtained on the ISCAS-85 and MCNC benchmarks are 45% smaller and the run time decreases 16% as compared with the previous results of AVPG.