CEC Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


College of Engineering and Computing


Sumitra Mukherjee

Committee Member

Michael J. Laszlo

Committee Member

Francisco J. Mitropoulos


In order to ensure the validity of sensor data, it must be thoroughly analyzed for various types of anomalies. Traditional machine learning methods of anomaly detections in sensor data are based on domain-specific feature engineering. A typical approach is to use domain knowledge to analyze sensor data and manually create statistics-based features, which are then used to train the machine learning models to detect and classify the anomalies. Although this methodology is used in practice, it has a significant drawback due to the fact that feature extraction is usually labor intensive and requires considerable effort from domain experts.

An alternative approach is to use deep learning algorithms. Research has shown that modern deep neural networks are very effective in automated extraction of abstract features from raw data in classification tasks. Long short-term memory networks, or LSTMs in short, are a special kind of recurrent neural networks that are capable of learning long-term dependencies. These networks have proved to be especially effective in the classification of raw time-series data in various domains. This dissertation systematically investigates the effectiveness of the LSTM model for anomaly detection and classification in raw time-series sensor data.

As a proof of concept, this work used time-series data of sensors that measure blood glucose levels. A large number of time-series sequences was created based on a genuine medical diabetes dataset. Anomalous series were constructed by six methods that interspersed patterns of common anomaly types in the data. An LSTM network model was trained with k-fold cross-validation on both anomalous and valid series to classify raw time-series sequences into one of seven classes: non-anomalous, and classes corresponding to each of the six anomaly types.

As a control, the accuracy of detection and classification of the LSTM was compared to that of four traditional machine learning classifiers: support vector machines, Random Forests, naive Bayes, and shallow neural networks. The performance of all the classifiers was evaluated based on nine metrics: precision, recall, and the F1-score, each measured in micro, macro and weighted perspective.

While the traditional models were trained on vectors of features, derived from the raw data, that were based on knowledge of common sources of anomaly, the LSTM was trained on raw time-series data. Experimental results indicate that the performance of the LSTM was comparable to the best traditional classifiers by achieving 99% accuracy in all 9 metrics. The model requires no labor-intensive feature engineering, and the fine-tuning of its architecture and hyper-parameters can be made in a fully automated way. This study, therefore, finds LSTM networks an effective solution to anomaly detection and classification in sensor data.