Ranking Causal Anomalies via Temporal and Dynamical Analysis on Vanishing Correlations

author: Wei Cheng, Department of Computer Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
published: Sept. 25, 2016,   recorded: August 2016,   views: 1300

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Modern world has witnessed a dramatic increase in our ability to collect, transmit and distribute real-time monitoring and surveillance data from large-scale information systems and cyber-physical systems. Detecting system anomalies thus attracts significant amount of interest in many fields such as security, fault management, and industrial optimization. Recently, invariant network has shown to be a powerful way in characterizing complex system behaviours. In the invariant network, a node represents a system component and an edge indicates a stable, significant interaction between two components. Structures and evolutions of the invariance network, in particular the vanishing correlations, can shed important light on locating causal anomalies and performing diagnosis. However, existing approaches to detect causal anomalies with the invariant network often use the percentage of vanishing correlations to rank possible casual components, which have several limitations: 1) fault propagation in the network is ignored; 2) the root casual anomalies may not always be the nodes with a high-percentage of vanishing correlations; 3) temporal patterns of vanishing correlations are not exploited for robust detection. To address these limitations, in this paper we propose a network diffusion based framework to identify significant causal anomalies and rank them. Our approach can effectively model fault propagation over the entire invariant network, and can perform joint inference on both the structural, and the time-evolving broken invariance patterns. As a result, it can locate high-confidence anomalies that are truly responsible for the vanishing correlations, and can compensate for unstructured measurement noise in the system. Extensive experiments on synthetic datasets, bank information system datasets, and coal plant cyber-physical system datasets demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach.

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