Research

My research focuses on probabilistic models and neural networks for learning problems arising from real applications. My research topics include variational inference, representation learning, and attention networks. See my publication list.

Research highlights

  • Amortized variational inference for Gaussian processes

    Idea: consider strong correlations only and run inference within neighborhoods with a shared structure

    Benefits: accurate & fast

    Publications: [Liu & Liu, 2019]

  • Spatial modeling: modeling spatial data with neural networks

    Publications: Kernel Convolutional Networks, accepted by AAAI 2020, coming soon.

  • Embedding models: representing objects as vectors

    1. embedding molecules as vectors with embedding propagation

      Publications: Predicting Reactions for Biochemical Networks Using Graph Embeddings, accepted by MLCB.

    2. generalization of embedding models to items

      Idea: down-weight unuseful item relations and improve the embedding quality

      Publications: [Liu & Blei, 2017], [Liu et al., 2017], [visualization]

HIRING PhD Students: Our research group is hiring PhD students for 2020 fall. Applicants with strong motivations are preferred. Programming skills and math skills (calculus, linear algebra, and probabilities) will be appreciated.

HIRING Undergrads at Tufts: We are looking for an undergrad who is passionate about machine learning. This is a project related to image classification, so the candidate needs to have basic knowledge about neural networks. This is a PAID position.

Bio Sketch

I received my B.S. in computer science from Hebei University of Technology in 2006. After three years study in LAMDA group, I received my M.S. degree from Nanjing Univeristy in 2009. My advisor was Prof. Yuan Jiang and Zhi-Hua Zhou. Then I worked in Alibaba for one year and a half. After that, I went to Oregon State University and completed my PhD degree in 2016. My PhD advisor was Prof.‚ÄČThomas Dietterich. Prior to joining Tufts, I worked as a postdoc researcher at Columbia University working with Prof. David Blei.