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Research on Explainable Machine Learning Model for Multi-stage Big Data Analysis

   Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering

  , , ,  Applications accepted all year round  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Recently, big data has expanded rapidly and its applications in areas such as logistics, transportation and finance continue to grow, thereby taking a central position in our economy and society. Existing big data analytic methods are generally single-stage methods, meaning that they treat the system under study as an atomic entity with all its data directly available for analysis. However, most systems under study are complex, consisting of separable but interdependent subsystems, which are difficult to handle by existing single-stage methods. This brings new challenges and opportunities in all phases of data analytics including data collection, feature learning, model learning and application. In this project, we focus on developing new methodologies for multi-stage big data analytics on complex systems that address the challenges brought up by the diverse requirements, high dependency and correlated objectives of the subsystems. Specifically, we target at investigating four major tasks: 1) multistage data sampling; 2) joint feature representation learning; 3) multi-stage model learning; 4) machine learning model explanation; and 5) the application in the semiconductor industry system for evaluating the effectiveness of our proposal.

For more information about doctoral scholarship and PhD programme at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU), please visit




The candidate should have a first class or upper second class honours degree, or a master’s degree (or equivalent qualification), in computer science, or statistics relevant majors.

Evidence of good spoken and written English is essential. The candidate should have an IELTS score of 6.5 or above, if the first language is not English. This position is open to all qualified candidates irrespective of nationality.


The student will be awarded a PhD degree from the University of Liverpool (UK) upon successful completion of the program.

How to Apply:

Interested applicants are advised to email (XJTLU principal supervisor’s email address) the following documents for initial review and assessment (please put the project title in the subject line).

  • CV
  • Two formal reference letters
  • Personal statement outlining your interest in the position
  • Certificates of English language qualifications (IELTS or equivalent)
  • Full academic transcripts in both Chinese and English (for international students, only the English version is required)
  • Verified certificates of education qualifications in both Chinese and English (for international students, only the English version is required) 
  • PDF copy of Master Degree dissertation (or an equivalent writing sample) and examiners reports available


Please email (XJTLU principal supervisor’s email address) with a subject line of the PhD project title.

The principal supervisor’s profile is linked here:


Funding Notes

The PhD studentship is available for three years subject to satisfactory progress by the student. The award covers tuition fees for three years (currently equivalent to RMB 80,000 per annum). It also provides up to RMB 16,500 to allow participation at international conferences during the period of the award. The scholarship holder is expected to carry out the major part of his or her research at XJTLU in Suzhou, China. However, he or she is eligible for a research study visit to the University of Liverpool up to six months, if this is required by the project.

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