Anomaly Detection via Graphical Lasso.
Anomalies and outliers are common in real-world data, and they can arise from many sources, such as sensor faults. Accordingly, anomaly detection is important both for analyzing the anomalies themselves and for cleaning the data for further analysis of its ambient structure. Nonetheless, a precise definition of anomalies is important for automated detection and herein we approach such problems from the perspective of detecting sparse latent effects embedded in large collections of noisy data. Standard Graphical Lasso-based techniques can identify the conditional dependency structure of a collection of random variables based on their sample covariance matrix. However, classic Graphical Lasso is sensitive to outliers in the sample covariance matrix. In particular, several outliers in a sample covariance matrix can destroy the sparsity of its inverse. Accordingly, we propose a novel optimization problem that is similar in spirit to Robust Principal Component Analysis (RPCA) and splits the sample covariance matrix $M$ into two parts, $M=F+S$, where $F$ is the cleaned sample covariance whose inverse is sparse and computable by Graphical Lasso, and $S$ contains the outliers in $M$. We accomplish this decomposition by adding an additional $ \ell_1$ penalty to classic Graphical Lasso, and name it "Robust Graphical Lasso (Rglasso)". Moreover, we propose an Alternating Direction Method of Multipliers (ADMM) solution to the optimization problem which scales to large numbers of unknowns. We evaluate our algorithm on both real and synthetic datasets, obtaining interpretable results and outperforming the standard robust Minimum Covariance Determinant (MCD) method and Robust Principal Component Analysis (RPCA) regarding both accuracy and speed.
Publisher URL: http://arxiv.org/abs/1811.04277