Pan Zhang

I am working at the Institute of Theoretical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences as an associate professor.

My research is in the interdisciplinery field between statistical physics, applied mathematics and computer science.
I am interested in spin glass theory and message passing algorithms, combinatorial optimization problems, random matrix theory, statistical inference, networks and machine learning problems.

Here you can find my CV and Google Scholar Profile.

News:
I am looking for a postdoctoral research fellow in the field of statistical physics and machine learning.

My paper "Robust spectral detection of global structures in the data by learning a regularization" is accepted by NIPS 2016.

Research:
Spectral methods are popular in detecting global structures in the given data that can be represented as a matrix. However when the data matrix is sparse or noisy, classic spectral methods usually fail to work, due to localization of eigenvectors (or singular vectors) induced by the sparsity or noise. In this paper (to appear in NIPS 2016) we propose a general method to solve the localization problem by learning a regularization matrix from the localized eigenvectors. Here is a Demo for the algorihtm "X-Laplacian".
Many real-world networks are dynamic, with nodes changing their connections and affiliations over time in complicated ways. This situation makes community detection more challenging, but correlations across time provide a means to circumvent this issue. In this Physical Review X paper, we derive a precise mathematical limit on our ability to recover the underlying community structure in a dynamic network, which depends only on the strength of the hidden communities and the rate at which nodes change their community membership.
Maximizing modularity is the most popular method of detecting communities in networks. However it is prone to overfitting.
In this PNAS paper, with Cris Moore we proposed to solve this overfitting problem using ideas from statistical physics, and developped an efficient algorithm for detecting communites and hierarchies in large networks.
Spectral algorithms are popular method of clustering data. However they often fail in sparse networks, because of existence of localized eigenvectors.
In a paper published in PNAS, with collaborators we gave a new spectral algorithm based on the non-backtracking operator that is immune to this disease, and works very well in large sparse networks.
Code:
X-Laplacian: Demo Preprint
Spectral clustering using the Non-backtracking matrix: Matlab code paper (open access)
Message passing for modulairty: c++ code paper preprint
Inference of the Stochastic Block Model by Belief Propagation: c++ code paper
A message passing based complete solver for Quantified Boolean Formulas: c++ code paper
Inference of the Kinetic Ising model on sparse graphs using dynamic cavity method: code paper

Contact me: Last modified: 09/12/2016