Deep transfer learning for intrusion detection in industrial control networks: A comprehensive review

Hamza Kheddar, Yassine Himeur, Ali Ismail Awad

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Globally, the external internet is increasingly being connected to industrial control systems. As a result, there is an immediate need to protect these networks from a variety of threats. The key infrastructure of industrial activity can be protected from harm using an intrusion detection system (IDS), a preventive mechanism that seeks to recognize new kinds of dangerous threats and hostile activities. This review examines the most recent artificial-intelligence techniques that are used to create IDSs in many kinds of industrial control networks, with a particular emphasis on IDS-based deep transfer learning (DTL). DTL can be seen as a type of information-fusion approach that merges and/or adapts knowledge from multiple domains to enhance the performance of a target task, particularly when labeled data in the target domain is scarce. Publications issued after 2015 were considered. These selected publications were divided into three categories: DTL-only and IDS-only works are examined in the introduction and background section, and DTL-based IDS papers are considered in the core section of this review. By reading this review paper, researchers will be able to gain a better grasp of the current state of DTL approaches used in IDSs in many different types of network. Other useful information, such as the datasets used, the type of DTL employed, the pre-trained network, IDS techniques, the evaluation metrics including accuracy/F-score and false-alarm rate, and the improvements gained, are also covered. The algorithms and methods used in several studies are presented, and the principles of DTL-based IDS subcategories are presented to the reader and illustrated deeply and clearly.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103760
JournalJournal of Network and Computer Applications
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023


  • Cybersecurity
  • Deep transfer learning
  • Domain adaptation
  • Fine-tuning
  • Industrial control network
  • Intrusion detection system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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