A Classification Framework for Anomaly Detection

Ingo Steinwart, Don Hush, Clint Scovel; 6(Feb):211--232, 2005.


One way to describe anomalies is by saying that anomalies are not concentrated. This leads to the problem of finding level sets for the data generating density. We interpret this learning problem as a binary classification problem and compare the corresponding classification risk with the standard performance measure for the density level problem. In particular it turns out that the empirical classification risk can serve as an empirical performance measure for the anomaly detection problem. This allows us to compare different anomaly detection algorithms empirically, i.e. with the help of a test set. Furthermore, by the above interpretation we can give a strong justification for the well-known heuristic of artificially sampling "labeled" samples, provided that the sampling plan is well chosen. In particular this enables us to propose a support vector machine (SVM) for anomaly detection for which we can easily establish universal consistency. Finally, we report some experiments which compare our SVM to other commonly used methods including the standard one-class SVM.


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