Zhiyu Ni

I am a Ph.D. student in Electrical Engineering at University of Southern California, mentored by Professor Pierluigi Nuzzo, in the DesCyPhy Lab since Fall 2022. My research is centered on trustworthy machine learning, specializing in Graph Neural Networks (GNN). I am also working on the safety of LLM and anomaly detection recently!


University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA, USA
Ph.D. in Computer Engineering
August 2022 - Present

University of Science and Technology of China

Hefei, Anhui, China
B.E. in Physics
Advisor: Cao Ping
August 2018 - July 2022

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, MI, USA
Research Intern in Physics
Advisor: Junjie Zhu
September 2020 - January 2021


Subhajit Dutta Chowdhury*, Zhiyu Ni*, Qingyuan Peng, Souvik Kundu, Pierluigi Nuzzo

Accepted by GLFrontiers Workshop, NeurIPS 2023

Subhajit Dutta Chowdhury*, Zhiyu Ni*, Qingyuan Peng, Souvik Kundu, Pierluigi Nuzzo

Under review of ICLR 2024


Exploring Robustness of Graph Lottery Tickets Against Adversarial Attacks

  • Systematically analyzed the robustness of graph lottery tickets (GLT) against adversarial attacks.
  • Proposed a new loss function for training robust yet sparse GLTs against poisoning and evasion attacks.
March 2023 - September 2023

LLM for Anomaly Detection

  • Exploring the capabilities of LLMs (ChatGpt, Llama, etc.) in terms of anomaly detection and encoding graph information into natural language.
  • Designing in-context learning flow to enable LLMs to identify fraud and numerically evaluate performance in various datasets (YelpChi, AmazonChi).
September 2023 - Present

Privacy Protector: Defending GNNs Against Inference Attacks

  • Explored existing model compression methods as a defense against Inference Attacks on GNN.
  • Developing a new training procedure leveraging weights pruning and knowledge distillation.
September 2023 - Present