A new intrusion detection system using support vector machines and hierarchical clustering

Latifur Khan, Mamoun Awad, Bhavani Thuraisingham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

330 Citations (Scopus)


Whenever an intrusion occurs, the security and value of a computer system is compromised. Network-based attacks make it difficult for legitimate users to access various network services by purposely occupying or sabotaging network resources and services. This can be done by sending large amounts of network traffic, exploiting well-known faults in networking services, and by overloading network hosts. Intrusion Detection attempts to detect computer attacks by examining various data records observed in processes on the network and it is split into two groups, anomaly detection systems and misuse detection systems. Anomaly detection is an attempt to search for malicious behavior that deviates from established normal patterns. Misuse detection is used to identify intrusions that match known attack scenarios. Our interest here is in anomaly detection and our proposed method is a scalable solution for detecting network-based anomalies. We use Support Vector Machines (SVM) for classification. The SVM is one of the most successful classification algorithms in the data mining area, but its long training time limits its use. This paper presents a study for enhancing the training time of SVM, specifically when dealing with large data sets, using hierarchical clustering analysis. We use the Dynamically Growing Self-Organizing Tree (DGSOT) algorithm for clustering because it has proved to overcome the drawbacks of traditional hierarchical clustering algorithms (e.g., hierarchical agglomerative clustering). Clustering analysis helps find the boundary points, which are the most qualified data points to train SVM, between two classes. We present a new approach of combination of SVM and DGSOT, which starts with an initial training set and expands it gradually using the clustering structure produced by the DGSOT algorithm. We compare our approach with the Rocchio Bundling technique and random selection in terms of accuracy loss and training time gain using a single benchmark real data set. We show that our proposed variations contribute significantly in improving the training process of SVM with high generalization accuracy and outperform the Rocchio Bundling technique.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)507-521
Number of pages15
JournalVLDB Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Hardware and Architecture


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