Learning Efficient Anomaly Detectors from K-NN Graphs

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Jonathan Root, Jing Qian, Venkatesh Saligrama ;
Proceedings of the Eighteenth International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics, PMLR 38:790-799, 2015.

Abstract

We propose a non-parametric anomaly detection algorithm for high dimensional data. We score each datapoint by its average K-NN distance, and rank them accordingly. We then train limited complexity models to imitate these scores based on the max-margin learning-to-rank framework. A test-point is declared as an anomaly at α-false alarm level if the predicted score is in the α-percentile. The resulting anomaly detector is shown to be asymptotically optimal in that for any false alarm rate α, its decision region converges to the α-percentile minimum volume level set of the unknown underlying density. In addition, we test both the statistical performance and computational efficiency of our algorithm on a number of synthetic and real-data experiments. Our results demonstrate the superiority of our algorithm over existing K-NN based anomaly detection algorithms, with significant computational savings.

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