Kai Zhang works at Temple University.


Anomalous Event Sequence Detection

Anomalous Event Sequence Detection Anomaly detection has been widely applied in modern data-driven security applications to detect abnormal events/entities that deviate from the majority. However, less work has been done in terms of detecting suspicious event sequences/paths, which are better discriminators than single events/entities for distinguishing normal and abnormal behaviors in complex systems such as cyber-physical systems. A key and challenging step in this endeavor is how to discover those abnormal event sequences from millions of system event records in an efficient and accurate way. To address this issue, we propose NINA, a network diffusion-based algorithm for identifying anomalous event sequences. Experimental results on both static and streaming data show that NINA is efficient (processes about 2 million records per minute) and accurate.

Collaborative Alert Ranking for Anomaly Detection

Collaborative Alert Ranking for Anomaly Detection Given a large number of low-quality heterogeneous categorical alerts collected from an anomaly detection system, how to characterize the complex relationships between different alerts and deliver trustworthy rankings to end users? While existing techniques focus on either mining alert patterns or filtering out false positive alerts, it can be more advantageous to consider the two perspectives simultaneously in order to improve detection accuracy and better understand abnormal system behaviors. In this paper, we propose CAR, a collaborative alert ranking framework that exploits both temporal and content correlations from heterogeneous categorical alerts. CAR first builds a hierarchical Bayesian model to capture both short-term and long-term dependencies in each alert sequence. Then, an entity embedding-based model is proposed to learn the content correlations between alerts via their heterogeneous categorical attributes. Finally, by incorporating both temporal and content dependencies into a unified optimization framework, CAR ranks both alerts and their corresponding alert patterns. Our experiments-using both synthetic and real-world enterprise security alert data-show that CAR can accurately identify true positive alerts and successfully reconstruct the attack scenarios at the same time.

NetWalk: A Flexible Deep Embedding Approach for Anomaly Detection in Dynamic Networks

NetWalk: A Flexible Deep Embedding Approach for Anomaly Detection in Dynamic Networks Massive and dynamic networks arise in many practical applications such as social media, security and public health. Given an evolutionary network, it is crucial to detect structural anomalies, such as vertices and edges whose “behaviors” deviate from underlying majority of the network, in a real-time fashion. Recently, network embedding has proven a powerful tool in learning the low-dimensional representations of vertices in networks that can capture and preserve the network structure. However, most existing network embedding approaches are designed for static networks, and thus may not be perfectly suited for a dynamic environment in which the network representation has to be constantly updated. In this paper, we propose a novel approach, NetWalk, for anomaly detection in dynamic networks by learning network representations which can be updated dynamically as the network evolves. We first encode the vertices of the dynamic network to vector representations by clique embedding, which jointly minimizes the pairwise distance of vertex representations of each walk derived from the dynamic networks, and the deep autoencoder reconstruction error serving as a global regularization. The vector representations can be computed with constant space requirements using reservoir sampling. On the basis of the learned low-dimensional vertex representations, a clustering-based technique is employed to incrementally and dynamically detect network anomalies. Compared with existing approaches, NetWalk has several advantages: 1) the network embedding can be updated dynamically, 2) streaming network nodes and edges can be encoded efficiently with constant memory space usage, 3). flexible to be applied on different types of networks, and 4) network anomalies can be detected in real-time. Extensive experiments on four real datasets demonstrate the effectiveness of NetWalk.