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Nial Friel

Full Professor

School of Mathematics & Statistics
Room E3.50
Insight centre for data analytics
O'Brien Science Centre

Tel: +353 (0)1 716 2368
Email: nial.friel@ucd.ie

Biography

Co-PI Insight, Programme leader for Machine Learning and Statistics, 2013-.
Adjunct Professor, Queensland University of Technology, 2013-2019.
Associate Professor in Statistics, UCD, 2007-2014. 
Reader in Statistics, University of Glasgow, 2006-2007.
Lecturer in Statistics, University of Glasgow, 2002-2006.
Research Associate, Athens University of Business and Economics, 2001.
Research Associate, University of Cambridge, 2001.
Research Associate, Queensland University of Technology, 2000.
PhD (Statistics), University of Glasgow, 1999.
MSc (Mathematics), NUI Galway 1996.
BSc (Mathematics), NUI Galway 1995.

Homepage: mathsci.ucd.ie/~nial

 

Professional

 

Associations

Association: International Society for Bayesian Analysis., Function/Role:
Association: Royal Statistical Society, Function/Role: Member of the research section
Association: Irish Statistical Association, Function/Role:
Association: International Statistical Institute, Function/Role: Elected member
           

Education

Year 1996 Institution: NUI Galway, IRL
Qualification: MSc Subject: MSC MATHS
Year 1995 Institution: NUI Galway, IRL
Qualification: BSc Subject: BSC HONS MATHS
Year 1999 Institution: University of Glasgow, Scotland
Qualification: PhD Subject: PHD STATISTICS
     

Journals Edited

Annals Of Applied Statistics: Reviewer.
Applied Statistics: Reviewer.
Biometrical Journal : Reviewer.
Bioinformatics: Reviewer.
Biostatistics: Reviewer.
Computational Statistics: Reviewer.
Computational Statisics And Data Analysis: Reviewer.
Ieee Transactions On Image Processing: Reviewer.
Journal Of Agricultural, Biological, And Environmental Statistics: Reviewer.
Journal Of Applied Statistics: Reviewer.
Journal Of The American Statistical Association: Reviewer.
Journal Of Computational And Graphical Statistics: Reviewer.
Journal Of Machine Learning Research: Reviewer.
Journal Of The Royal Statistical Society, Series A, B,: Reviewer.
Journal Of The Royal Statistical Society, Series B: Reviewer.
Journal Of The Royal Statistical Society: Series C (Applied Statistics): Reviewer.
Journal Of Statistical Computation And Simulation: Reviewer.
Journal Of Times Series: Reviewer.
Journal Of Statistical Planning And Inference: Reviewer.
Metron: Reviewer.
Pattern Recognition: Reviewer.
Plos Medicine: Reviewer.
Scandanavian Journal Of Statistics: Reviewer.
Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences: Reviewer.
Social Networks: Reviewer.
Statistica Sinica: Reviewer.
Statistics And Computing: Reviewer.
Journal Of The American Statistical Association: Reviewer.
Social Networks: Reviewer.

Other Activities

Member of the Mathematics panel for the Finnish Academy of Sciences (2014)
Associate editor for Statistics and Computing since 2007.
Member of the research section of the Royal Statistical Society (2007--2011)
Senior program committee member for  AISTATS 2012.
PhD examiner at the University of New South Wales (2016), University of Nottingham (2016), University College London (2014), Athens University of Business and Economics (2013), National University of Singapore (2013), Norwegian University of Science and Technology (2013), University of Kent (2011), University of Bath (2008), Trinity College, Dublin (2008) and University of Glasgow (2007).
Frequent grant reviewer for the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) UK. (Seven grants reviewed since 2011.)
Grant reviewer for the Finnish Academy of Sciences.
Grant reviewer for the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research(NWO). (2012)
External examiner for undergraduate Statistics at Heriot-Watt University (2006-10)

Publications

 

Book Chapters

A. Caimo and N. Friel (2014) 'Actor-Based Models for Longitudinal Networks' In: R. Alhajj, J. Rokne (eds). Encyclopedia of Social Network Analysis and Mining. New York: Springer. [DOI] [Details]
 

Peer Reviewed Journals

R. Rastelli, N. Friel and A.E. Raftery. (2016) 'Properties of latent variable network models'. Network Science, 4 (4):407-432. Available Online [DOI] [Details]
N. Friel, R. Rastelli, J. Wyse and A.E. Raftery (2016) 'Interlocking directorates in Irish companies using a latent space model for bipartite networks'. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 133 (24):6629-6634. [DOI] [Details]
Thiemichen, S; Friel, N; Caimo, A; Kauermann, G (2016) 'Bayesian Exponential Random Graph Models with Nodal Random Effects'. Social Networks, 46 :11-28. Available Online [DOI] [Details]
N. Friel, C. Oates, A. Mira (2016) 'Exploiting Multi-Core Architectures for Reduced-Variance Estimation with Intractable Likelihoods'. Bayesian Analysis, 11 :215-245. Available Online [DOI] [Details]
P. Alquier, N. Friel, R. Everitt and A. Boland (2016) 'Noisy Monte Carlo: Convergence of Markov chains with approximate transition kernels'. Statistics and Computing, 26 :29-47. Available Online [DOI] [Details]
J. Stoehr, N. Friel (2015) 'Calibration of conditional composite likelihood for Bayesian inference on Gibbs random fields'. Journal of Machine Learning Research Workshop and Conference Proceedings Series, 38 :921-929. Available Online [Details]
M. Bertoletti, N. Friel, R. Rastelli (2015) 'Choosing the number of clusters in a finite mixture model using an exact integrated completed likelihood criterion'. Metron, 73 (2):177-199. Available Online [DOI] [Details]
J.W. Yoon and N. Friel (2015) 'Efficient Estimation of the number of neighbours in Probabilistic K Nearest Neighbour Classification'. Neurocomputing, 149 (Part B):1098-1108. Available Online [DOI] [Details]
A. Caimo and N. Friel (2014) 'Bergm: Bayesian inference for exponential random graphs using R'. Journal of Statistical Software, 61 (2). Available Online [Details]
Silvia Pandolfi, Francesco Bartloucci, Nial Friel (2014) 'A generalized multiple-try version of the reversible jump algorithm'. Computational Statistics and Data Analysis, 72 :298-314. [DOI] [Details]
Friel, N., Hurn, M. and Wyse, J. (2014) 'Improving power posterior estimation of statistical evidence'. Statistics and Computing, 24 :709-723. Available Online [DOI] [Details]
N. Friel (2013) 'Estimating the evidence for Gibbs random fields'. Journal of Computational and Graphical Statistics, 22 (3):518-532. Available Online [DOI] [Details]
A. Caimo, N. Friel (2013) 'Bayesian model selection for exponential random graph models'. Social Networks, . Available Online [DOI] [Details]
McDaid, A., Murphy, T.B., Friel, N., Hurley, N. (2013) 'Improved Bayesian inference for the stochastic block model with application to large networks'. Computational Statistics and Data Analysis, 60 :12-31. Available Online [DOI] [Details]
N. Friel and J. Wyse; (2012) 'Estimating the statistical evidence - a review'. Statistica Neerlandica, 66 (3):288-308. Available Online [DOI] [Details]
J. Wyse and N. Friel; (2012) 'Block clustering with collapsed latent block models'. Statistics and Computing, 22 (2):415-428. Available Online [DOI] [Details]
G. Behrens, N. Friel and M. Hurn; (2012) 'Tuning tempered transitions'. Statistics and Computing, 22 (1):65-78. Available Online [DOI] [Details]
J. Wyse, N. Friel and H. Rue; (2011) 'Approximate simulation free multiple changepoint analysis with Gaussian Markov random field segment models (with discussion)'. Bayesian Analysis, 6 (4):501-528. Available Online [DOI] [Details]
A. Caimo and N. Friel; (2011) 'Bayesian inference for exponential random graph models'. Social Networks, 33 :41-55. Available Online [DOI] [Details]
Friel, N,Pettitt, AN; (2011) 'Classification using distance nearest neighbours'. Statistics and Computing, 21 :431-437. Available Online [DOI] [Details]
M. Hall, N. Friel; (2011) 'Mortality Projections using Generalized Additive Models with applications to annuity values for the Irish population'. Annals of Actuarial Science, 5 :19-32. Available Online [DOI] [Details]
N. Friel and J. Wyse; (2011) 'Discussion of Riemann manifold Langevin and Hamiltonian Monte Carlo methods'. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Series B, 73 . [Details]
Wang, HF,Friel, N,Gosselin, F,Schyns, PG; (2011) 'Efficient bubbles for visual categorization tasks'. Vision Research, 51 :1318-1323. [DOI] [Details]
H. Austad and N. Friel ; (2010) 'Deterministic Bayesian inference for the p* model'. Journal of Machine Learning Research Workshop and Conference Proceedings Series, 9 :41-48. Available Online [Details]
S. Pandolfi, F. Bartolucci and N. Friel ; (2010) 'A generalization of the Multiple-try Metropolis algorithm for Bayesian estimation and model selection'. Journal of Machine Learning Research Workshop and Conference Proceedings Series, 9 :581-588. Available Online [Details]
Tong P, Prendergast JG, Lohan AJ, Farrington SM, Cronin S, Friel N, Bradley DG, Hardiman O, Evans A, Wilson JF, Loftus B.; (2010) 'Sequencing and analysis of an Irish human genome'. Genome Biology, . Available Online [Details]
M. Salter-Townshend, J. Haslett, N. Friel; (2009) 'Discussion of `Approximate Bayesian inference for latent Gaussian models by using integrated nested Laplace approximations' by Rue, Martino and Chopin.  '. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Series B, 71 . [Details]
N. Friel, A.N. Pettitt, R. Reeves, E. Wit; (2009) 'Bayesian Inference in Hidden Markov Random Fields for Binary Data Defined on Large Lattices'. Journal of Computational and Graphical Statistics, 18 (2):243-261. Available Online [DOI] [Details]
Friel, N., Pettitt, A. N., ; (2008) 'Marginal likelihood estimation via power posteriors'. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series B-Statistical Methodology, 70 :589-607. Available Online [DOI] [Details]
Friel. N. and Rue, H.; (2007) 'Recursive computing for general factorizable models'. Biometrika, 9 :661-672. Available Online [Details]
Ridall, P.J., Pettitt, A.N., Friel, N., McCombe, P.A. and Henderson, R.; (2007) 'Motor unit number estimation using reversible jump Markov chain Monte Carlo (with discussion)'. Applied Statistics, 56 :235-269. Available Online [Details]
Dellaportas, P., Friel, N., and Roberts, G.O.; (2006) 'Bayesian model selection for partially observed diffusion models'. Biometrika, 93 :809-825. Available Online [Details]
Friel, N. and Pettitt, A.N.; (2004) 'Exact maximum likelihood estimation of the autologistic model'. Journal of Computational and Graphical Statistics, 13 :232-248. Available Online [Details]
Grant S.J. et al; (2003) 'The effect of ball carrying method on sprint speed in Rugby union football players'. Journal of Sports Science, 21 :1009-1015. [Details]
Brooks, S.P., Friel, N., and King, R.; (2003) 'Classical model selection via simulated annealing'. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Series B, 65 :503-521. [Details]
Pettitt, A.N., Friel, N., and Reeves, R.; (2003) 'Efficient calculation of the normalisation constant of the autologistic model on the lattice'. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Series B, 65 :235-247. [Details]
Friel, N.; (2003) 'Discussion of 'Efficient construction of reversible jump MCMC proposal distributions by Brooks, S.P., Giudici, P. and Roberts, G.O'. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Series B, 65 . [Details]
Friel, N. and Molchanov, I.S.; (1999) 'A new thresholding technique based on random sets'. Pattern Recognition, 32 :1507-1517. [Details]
 

Conference Publications

N. Friel (2012) Bayesian inference for Gibbs random fields using composite likelihoods Proceedings of the 2012 Winter Simulation Conference Available Online [Details]
McDaid, A., Murphy, T.B. Friel, N. and Hurley, N. (2012) Model-based clustering in networks with Stochastic Community Finding . In: Colubi, A., Fokianos, K., Kontoghiorghes, E. J. and Gonzáles-Rodríguez, G eds. COMPSTAT2012 Limassol, Cyprus, , 27-AUG-12 - 31-AUG-12 , pp.549-560 Available Online [Details]
Friel, N. and Pettitt, A.N.; (2007) Discussion of 'Nested Sampling' by J. Skilling . In: Bernardo, J.M. et al eds. Bayesian Statistics 8 [Details]
Ridall, P.J., Pettitt, A.N., Friel, N., McCombe, P.A. and Henderson, R.; (2005) A Bayesian method for motor unit number estimation for the tracking of amyotropic lateral sclerosis using reversible jump Markov chain Monte Carlo 20th International Workshop on Statistical Modelling Sydney, Australia, , pp.397-410 [Details]
Wit, E. and Friel, N.; (2003) Hidden Markov modelling of genomic interactions Bulletin of the International Statistical Institute, 54th Session [Details]
Friel, N. and Molchanov, I.S.; (1998) Distances between grey-scale images . In: H. Heijmans and J. Roerdink eds. Mathematical Morphology and it's Applications to Image and Signal Processing , pp.283-291 [Details]
Friel, N. and Molchanov, I.S.; (1998) Class of error metrics for grey-scale image comparison Proc.: SPIE, Mathematical Modeling and Estimation Techniques in Computer Vision San Diego, , pp.194-202 [Details]
                                                                                                                 

Research

Research Interests

I have a broad range of research interests including Statistical Network Analysis, Spatial Statistics, Bayesian Statistics, Markov chain Monte Carlo methods, Stochastic Processes.

Research Projects

Sponsor : Irish Research Council (IRC)
Title : Novel approaches to Bayesian inference for intractable likelihood models
Start Date / End Date : 01-OCT-15 / 30-SEP-19
Sponsor : Enterprise Ireland (EI)
Title : EI-travel Support
Start Date / End Date : 07-FEB-14 / 06-AUG-14
Sponsor : Science Foundation Ireland (SFI)
Title : Advances for the probabilistic analysis of network data
Start Date / End Date : 01-APR-13 / 01-APR-17
Sponsor : Science Foundation Ireland (SFI)
Title : Fast Computation and Accounting for Differential Activity in Latent Position Cluster Models for Networks
Start Date / End Date : 01-JUL-13 / 30-JUN-15
Sponsor : Higher Education Authority (HEA)
Title : PRTLI 5: SimSci - Split Accounts School of Mathematical Sciences
Start Date / End Date : 01-MAR-11 / 31-DEC-16
Sponsor : Science Foundation Ireland (SFI)
Title : Probabilistic inference for statistical models with intractable normalising constants
Start Date / End Date : 01-SEP-09 / 31-DEC-13
Sponsor : Irish Research Council for Science Engineering and Technology (IRCSET)
Title : Probabilistic inference for social network analysis
Start Date / End Date : 01-OCT-08 / 30-SEP-11

Recent Postgraduates

Aidan Boland (University College Dublin) PhD (2016) (Data Scientist at Clavis Technology)

Catriona Ryan (University College Dublin) PhD (2014)

Mary Hall (University College Dublin)  PhD (2013) (Joint supervision with Dr. Shane Whelan) (Lecturer in Actuarial Science, UCD)

Alberto Caimo (University College Dublin) PhD (2012) (Post-doc at the University of Lugano, Switzerland)

Jason Wyse (University College Dublin) PhD (2011) (Lecturer at Trinity College Dublin)

Silvia Pandolfi (University of Perugia) PhD (2011) (Joint with F. Bartolucci) (Researcher at the University of Perugia)

Eleni Bakra (University of Glasgow) PhD (2009) (Now working for a hedge fund)

Katja Ignatieva (University of Glasgow) MSc (2008) Lecturer at the University of New South Wales)

Current Postgraduate Students

Alan Benson, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)   -   Thesis Supervisor
Riccardo Rastelli, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)   -   Thesis Supervisor
Lampros Bouranis, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)   -   Thesis Supervisor

Collaborators

Internal Collaborators

Brendan Murphy (School of Mathematical Sciences)

External Collaborators

Recent collaborators (since 2008):

Pierre Alquier (ENSAE, Paris)
Francesco Bartloucci (University of Perugia)
Richard Everitt (University of Reading)
Mark Girolami (University College London)
Merrilee Hurn (University of Bath)
Pierre Latouche (Universite Paris 1, Pantheon-Sorbonne)
Tony Pettitt (Lancaster University and Queensland University of Technology)
Luigi Spezia (BIOSS, Aberdeen)
Adrian Raftery (University of Washington)
Rob Reeves (Queensland University of Technology)
Havard Rue (Norwegian University of Science and Technology)
Ernst Wit (University of Groningen)
Ji Won Yoon (Korea University)