Cross-dataset Time Series Anomaly Detection for Cloud Systems


Xu Zhang, Microsoft Research, Nanjing University; Qingwei Lin, Yong Xu, and Si Qin, Microsoft Research; Hongyu Zhang, The University of Newcastle; Bo Qiao, Microsoft Research; Yingnong Dang, Xinsheng Yang, Qian Cheng, Murali Chintalapati, Youjiang Wu, and Ken Hsieh, Microsoft; Kaixin Sui, Xin Meng, Yaohai Xu, and Wenchi Zhang, Microsoft Research; Furao Shen, Nanjing University; Dongmei Zhang, Microsoft Research


In recent years, software applications are increasingly deployed as online services on cloud computing platforms. It is important to detect anomalies in cloud systems in order to maintain high service availability. However, given the velocity, volume, and diversified nature of cloud monitoring data, it is difficult to obtain sufficient labelled data to build an accurate anomaly detection model. In this paper, we propose cross-dataset anomaly detection: detect anomalies in a new unlabelled dataset (the target) by training an anomaly detection model on existing labelled datasets (the source). Our approach, called ATAD (Active Transfer Anomaly Detection), integrates both transfer learning and active learning techniques. Transfer learning is applied to transfer knowledge from the source dataset to the target dataset, and active learning is applied to determine informative labels of a small part of samples from unlabelled datasets. Through experiments, we show that ATAD is effective in cross-dataset time series anomaly detection. Furthermore, we only need to label about 1%-5% of unlabelled data and can still achieve significant performance improvement.

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@inproceedings {235002,
author = {Xu Zhang and Qingwei Lin and Yong Xu and Si Qin and Hongyu Zhang and Bo Qiao and Yingnong Dang and Xinsheng Yang and Qian Cheng and Murali Chintalapati and Youjiang Wu and Ken Hsieh and Kaixin Sui and Xin Meng and Yaohai Xu and Wenchi Zhang and Furao Shen and Dongmei Zhang},
title = {Cross-dataset Time Series Anomaly Detection for Cloud Systems},
booktitle = {2019 USENIX Annual Technical Conference (USENIX ATC 19)},
year = {2019},
isbn = {978-1-939133-03-8},
address = {Renton, WA},
pages = {1063--1076},
url = {},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = jul

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