Yang Chen

Research Fellow
School of Computer Science
The University of Auckland

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I am currently a research fellow with the School of Computer Science, The University of Auckland. I obtained my PhD in computer science from The University of Auckland, where I was supervised by Dr. Jiamou Liu and Prof. Bakhadyr Khoussainov. I received the First Class Honours degree in computer science from The University of Auckland in 2018. Before coming to New Zealand, I received the B.S. in computer science from Beijing Institute of Technology in 2017. My research interests span a spectrum of (inverse) reinforcement learning, computational game theory and multi-agent systems. Lately, my research focus is on applying reinforcement learning in large-scale multi-agent games, natural language processing and automatic reasoning.

When I am not spending time on research and teaching, I can be found as a hiker and photography lover. I have hiked to many famous routes in many cities and towns across China and New Zealand. The collections of pictures that I took in the hike-way can be found in my personal online gallery (building in progress, coming soon).
June 2021 -- Present Research Fellow The University of Auckland
September 2020 -- January 2021 Research Intern Alibaba DAMO Academy
COMPSCI 761 Advanced Topics in Artificial Intelligence Lecturer, Semester 2, 2022, The University of Auckland
COMPSCI 220 Algorithms and Data Structures Guest Lecturer, Semester 1, 2022, The University of Auckland Video
COMPSCI 399 Capstone: Computer Science Project Supervisor, Semester 2, 2021, The University of Auckland
Many-agent Inverse Reinforcement Learning Strong AI Lab, The University of Auckland Video | Slides
Conference Reviewer: ICNLP 2022, BSCI 2022
Journal Reviewer: Social Network Analysis and Mining (SNAM)
Web Master: AAMAS 2022
April 2022 AAMAS 2022 Scholarship
August 2020 Google Global PhD Fellowship Nomination (Austrilia & New Zealand)
July 2019 Best Paper Award, BSCI 2019
July 2019 Summer scholarship funding from the Precision Driven Health research partnership
November 2018 - November 2021 The University of Auckland PhD Scholarship

In cases that publisher links are non-free, please refer to the PDF files hosted on arXiv or other platforms. Talks, presentation slides, videos, codes and other extra materials are sometimes included. Awards are highlighted where available.


  • Interpretable AMR-Based Question Decomposition for Multi-hop Question Answering.
    Zhenyun Deng, Yonghua Zhu, Yang Chen, Michael Witbrock, Patricia Riddle.
    The 31st International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence.
    IJCAI 2022
  • Interconnected Neural Linear Contextual Bandits with UCB Exploration.
    Yang Chen, Miao Xie, Jiamou Liu, Kaiqi Zhao.
    The 26th Pacific-Asia Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining.
    PAKDD 2022
  • Individual-Level Inverse Reinforcement Learning for Mean Field Games.
    Yang Chen, Libo Zhang, Jiamou Liu, Shuyue Hu.
    The 21st International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multi-agent Systems.
    AAMAS 2022 | arXiv
  • An explainability analysis of a sentiment prediction task using a transformer-based attention filter.
    Neset Özkan Tan, Joshua Bensemann, Diana Benavides-Prado, Yang Chen, Mark Gahegan, Lia Lee, Alex Yuxuan Peng, Patricia Riddle, Michael Witbrock.
    The Ninth Annual Conference on Advances in Cognitive Systems
    ACS 2021
  • Social Capital Games as A Framework for Social Structural Pattern Emergence.
    Yang Chen, Jiamou Liu.
    2020 IEEE/ACM International Conference on Advances in Social Networks Analysis and Mining.
    ASONAM 2020
  • Social Structure Emergence: A Multi-agent Reinforcement Learning Framework for Relationship Building.
    Yang Chen, Jiamou Liu, He Zhao, Hongyi Su.
    The 19th International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multi-agent Systems.
    AAMAS 2020 | Slides | Talk
  • Becoming Gatekeepers Together with Allies: Collaborative Brokerage over Social Networks.
    Yang Chen, Jiamou Liu.
    2019 IEEE/ACM International Conference on Advances in Social Networks Analysis and Mining.
    ASONAM 2019 | Code
  • A Reinforcement Learning Approach to Gaining Social Capital with Partial Observation.
    He Zhao, Hongyi Su, Yang Chen (contact), Jiamou Liu, Hong Zheng, Bo Yan.
    The 16th Pacific Rim International Conference on Artificial Intelligence.
    PRICAI 2019
  • Dynamic Relationship Building: Exploitation Versus Exploration on a Social Network.
    Bo Yan, Yang Chen, Jiamou Liu.
    The 18th International Conference on Web Information Systems Engineering.
    WISE 2017 | Code


  • Eye Gaze and Self-attention: How Humans and Transformers Attend Words in Sentences.
    Joshua Bensemann, Alex Yuxuan Peng, Diana Benavides-Prado, Yang Chen, Nes ̧et Özkan Tan, Paul Michael Corballis, Patricia Riddle, and Michael Witbrock.
    Cognitive Modeling and Computational Linguistics (CMCL) 2022. An ACL 2022 Workshop.
  • Can Reinforcement Learning Enhance Social Capital?.
    He Zhao, Hongyi Su, Yang Chen, Jiamou Liu, Bo Yan, Hong Zheng.
    The International Workshop on Web Information Systems in the Era of AI. A WISE 2020 Workshop.
    WISE 2020
  • Distributed Community Detection over Blockchain Networks Based on Structural Entropy.
    Yang Chen, Jiamou Liu.
    The 2019 ACM International Symposium on Blockchain and Secure Critical Infrastructure (BSCI). An AsiaCCS Workshop.
    Best Paper Award | BSCI 2019 | PDF


  • Adversarial Inverse Reinforcement Learning for Mean Field Games.
    Yang Chen, Michael Witbrock, Jiamou Liu.
Plain Academic