Tiresias: Online Anomaly Detection for Hierarchical Operational Network Data Conference Paper uri icon


  • Operational network data, management data such as customer care call logs and equipment system logs, is a very important source of information for network operators to detect problems in their networks. Unfortunately, there is lack of efficient tools to automatically track and detect anomalous events on operational data, causing ISP operators to rely on manual inspection of this data. While anomaly detection has been widely studied in the context of network data, operational data presents several new challenges, including the volatility and sparseness of data, and the need to perform fast detection (complicating application of schemes that require offline processing or large/stable data sets to converge). To address these challenges, we propose Tiresias, an automated approach to locating anomalous events on hierarchical operational data. Tiresias leverages the hierarchical structure of operational data to identify high-impact aggregates (e.g., locations in the network, failure modes) likely to be associated with anomalous events. To accommodate different kinds of operational network data, Tiresias consists of an online detection algorithm with low time and space complexity, while preserving high detection accuracy. We present results from two case studies using operational data collected at a large commercial IP network operated by a Tier-1 ISP: customer care call logs and set-top box crash logs. By comparing with a reference set verified by the ISP's operational group, we validate that Tiresias can achieve >94% accuracy in locating anomalies. Tiresias also discovered several previously unknown anomalies in the ISP's customer care cases, demonstrating its effectiveness. 2012 IEEE.

name of conference

  • 2012 IEEE 32nd International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Hong, C., Caesar, M., Duffield, N., & Wang, J.

citation count

  • 9

complete list of authors

  • Hong, Chi-Yao||Caesar, Matthew||Duffield, Nick||Wang, Jia

publication date

  • June 2012