[PAST EVENT] Mathematics Colloquium - Yanfu Zhang (W&M)

December 1, 2023
2pm - 3pm
Jones Hall, Room 302
200 Ukrop Way
Williamsburg, VA 23185Map this location
Access & Features
  • Free food
  • Open to the public
indoors, inside, people, business school, mason, suits, speakers, presentation, projection, meeting, computers, brinkley commons, graduate, miller hall

Title: Representation Learning Algorithms: Graph and Beyond

Abstract: A central question when designing an AI system in the real world is, "how to learn representations of the data that make it easier to extract useful information when building classifiers or other predictors?" Satisfactory answers are attainable for certain data, such as images, texts, or audio. However, various types of data are gathered as graphs, such as social networks, protein interaction networks, brain connectomes, etc. Despite the emerging and powerful graph neural network techniques, researchers are yet unanimous in the answer dedicated to learning embeddings from graphs due to their high irregularity, complexity, and sparsity. I have been focusing on addressing the critical challenges in graph representation learning.

In this talk, I will first introduce my recent research results on solving two key problems in graph representation learning. i) A significant limitation of the famous graph convolutional network is over-smoothed embeddings with deeper networks. ii) The scalability to big data, though facilitated by self-supervised pretraining, loses the focus on local structure. After that, I will expand the horizons beyond the nodes and discuss how they interact with the algorithm design. i) Graph-level embeddings are desired instead of node-level embeddings in some applications. ii) Data distribution implies graph structure---even if it is not explicitly given. Besides addressing the efficacy of representation learning, I also designed fairness-aware machine learning algorithms to tackle the bias in model training and data processing. I applied my new representation learning methods to successfully solve various real-world applications, such as brain disease early diagnosis, drug repositioning, and social media network predictions.

Refreshments will be provided outside of Jones 100 starting at 1:30 pm.


Yuming Sun