On-Line Anomaly Detection with High Accuracy

Kun Xie, Xiaocan Li, Xin Wang, Jiannong Cao, Gaogang Xie, Jigang Wen, Dafang Zhang, Zheng Qin

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

76 Citations (Scopus)


Traffic anomaly detection is critical for advanced Internet management. Existing detection algorithms generally convert the high-dimensional data to a long vector, which compromises the detection accuracy due to the loss of spatial information of data. Moreover, they are generally designed based on the separation of normal and anomalous data in a time period, which not only introduces high storage and computation cost but also prevents timely detection of anomalies. Online and accurate traffic anomaly detection is critical but difficult to support. To address the challenge, this paper directly models the monitoring data in each time slot as a 2-D matrix, and detects anomalies in the new time slot based on bilateral principal component analysis (B-PCA). We propose several novel techniques in OnlineBPCA to support quick and accurate anomaly detection in real time, including a novel B-PCA-based anomaly detection principle that jointly considers the variation of both row and column principal directions for more accurate anomaly detection, an approximate algorithm to avoid using iteration procedure to calculate the principal directions in a close-form, and a sequential anomaly algorithm to quickly update principal directions with low computation and storage cost when receiving a new data matrix at a time slot. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first work that exploits 2-D PCA for anomaly detection. We have conducted extensive simulations to compare our OnlineBPCA with the state-of-art anomaly detection algorithms using real traffic traces Abilene and GÈANT. Our simulation results demonstrate that, compared with other algorithms, our OnlineBPCA can achieve significantly better detection performance with low false positive rate, high true positive rate, and low computation cost.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1222-1235
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018


  • Anomaly detection
  • bilateral PCA
  • on-line algorithm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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