Anomaly Detection in Dynamic Networks

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Title: Anomaly Detection in Dynamic Networks
Authors: Turcotte, Melissa
Item Type: Thesis or dissertation
Publication Date: 2015-07-07T11:18:01Z
Abstract: Anomaly detection in dynamic communication networks has many important security applications. These networks can be extremely large and so detecting any changes in their structure can be computationally challenging; hence, computationally fast, parallelisable methods for monitoring the network are paramount. For this reason the methods presented here use independent node and edge based models to detect locally anomalous substructures within communication networks. As a first stage, the aim is to detect changes in the data streams arising from node or edge communications. Throughout the thesis simple, conjugate Bayesian models for counting processes are used to model these data streams. A second stage of analysis can then be performed on a much reduced subset of the network comprising nodes and edges which have been identified as potentially anomalous in the first stage. The first method assumes communications in a network arise from an inhomogeneous Poisson process with piecewise constant intensity. Anomaly detection is then treated as a changepoint problem on the intensities. The changepoint model is extended to incorporate seasonal behaviour inherent in communication networks. This seasonal behaviour is also viewed as a changepoint problem acting on a piecewise constant Poisson process. In a static time frame, inference is made on this extended model via a Gibbs sampling strategy. In a sequential time frame, where the data arrive as a stream, a novel, fast Sequential Monte Carlo (SMC) algorithm is introduced to sample from the sequence of posterior distributions of the changepoints over time. A second method is considered for monitoring communications in a large scale computer network. The usage patterns in these types of networks are very bursty in nature and don't fit a Poisson process model. For tractable inference, discrete time models are considered, where the data are aggregated into discrete time periods and probability models are fitted to the communication counts. In a sequential analysis, anomalous behaviour is then identified from outlying behaviour with respect to the fitted predictive probability models. Seasonality is again incorporated into the model and is treated as a changepoint model on the transition probabilities of a discrete time Markov process. Second stage analytics are then developed which combine anomalous edges to identify anomalous substructures in the network.
Content Version: Open Access
Issue Date: Dec-2013
Date Awarded: May-2014
Supervisor: Heard, Nicholas
Hand, David
Sponsor/Funder: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Department: Mathematics
Publisher: Imperial College London
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Qualification Name: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Appears in Collections:Mathematics PhD theses

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