Collaborating Authors

Demystifying Information Security Using Data Science


When you search for security data science on the internet, it's difficult to find resources with crisp and clear information about the use cases, methods and limitations in Information Security (hereby referred to as InfoSec). There's usually always some marketing material attached to it. So, I thought of summarising my knowledge and InfoSec experience in this article.

Diversifying Database Activity Monitoring with Bandits Artificial Intelligence

Database activity monitoring (DAM) systems are commonly used by organizations to protect the organizational data, knowledge and intellectual properties. In order to protect organizations database DAM systems have two main roles, monitoring (documenting activity) and alerting to anomalous activity. Due to high-velocity streams and operating costs, such systems are restricted to examining only a sample of the activity. Current solutions use policies, manually crafted by experts, to decide which transactions to monitor and log. This limits the diversity of the data collected. Bandit algorithms, which use reward functions as the basis for optimization while adding diversity to the recommended set, have gained increased attention in recommendation systems for improving diversity. In this work, we redefine the data sampling problem as a special case of the multi-armed bandit (MAB) problem and present a novel algorithm, which combines expert knowledge with random exploration. We analyze the effect of diversity on coverage and downstream event detection tasks using a simulated dataset. In doing so, we find that adding diversity to the sampling using the bandit-based approach works well for this task and maximizing population coverage without decreasing the quality in terms of issuing alerts about events.

Data Cleaning for XML Electronic Dictionaries via Statistical Anomaly Detection Machine Learning

Many important forms of data are stored digitally in XML format. Errors can occur in the textual content of the data in the fields of the XML. Fixing these errors manually is time-consuming and expensive, especially for large amounts of data. There is increasing interest in the research, development, and use of automated techniques for assisting with data cleaning. Electronic dictionaries are an important form of data frequently stored in XML format that frequently have errors introduced through a mixture of manual typographical entry errors and optical character recognition errors. In this paper we describe methods for flagging statistical anomalies as likely errors in electronic dictionaries stored in XML format. We describe six systems based on different sources of information. The systems detect errors using various signals in the data including uncommon characters, text length, character-based language models, word-based language models, tied-field length ratios, and tied-field transliteration models. Four of the systems detect errors based on expectations automatically inferred from content within elements of a single field type. We call these single-field systems. Two of the systems detect errors based on correspondence expectations automatically inferred from content within elements of multiple related field types. We call these tied-field systems. For each system, we provide an intuitive analysis of the type of error that it is successful at detecting. Finally, we describe two larger-scale evaluations using crowdsourcing with Amazon's Mechanical Turk platform and using the annotations of a domain expert. The evaluations consistently show that the systems are useful for improving the efficiency with which errors in XML electronic dictionaries can be detected.

From Data to Actions in Intelligent Transportation Systems: a Prescription of Functional Requirements for Model Actionability Artificial Intelligence

Advances in Data Science are lately permeating every field of Transportation Science and Engineering, making it straightforward to imagine that developments in the transportation sector will be data-driven. Nowadays, Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) could be arguably approached as a "story" intensively producing and consuming large amounts of data. A diversity of sensing devices densely spread over the infrastructure, vehicles or the travelers' personal devices act as sources of data flows that are eventually fed to software running on automatic devices, actuators or control systems producing, in turn, complex information flows between users, traffic managers, data analysts, traffic modeling scientists, etc. These information flows provide enormous opportunities to improve model development and decision-making. The present work aims to describe how data, coming from diverse ITS sources, can be used to learn and adapt data-driven models for efficiently operating ITS assets, systems and processes; in other words, for data-based models to fully become actionable. Grounded on this described data modeling pipeline for ITS, we define the characteristics, engineering requisites and challenges intrinsic to its three compounding stages, namely, data fusion, adaptive learning and model evaluation. We deliberately generalize model learning to be adaptive, since, in the core of our paper is the firm conviction that most learners will have to adapt to the everchanging phenomenon scenario underlying the majority of ITS applications. Finally, we provide a prospect of current research lines within the Data Science realm that can bring notable advances to data-based ITS modeling, which will eventually bridge the gap towards the practicality and actionability of such models.

Silicon Valley siphons our data like oil. But the deepest drilling has just begun

The Guardian

Customers in the UK will soon find out. Recent reports suggest that three of the country's largest supermarket chains are rolling out surge-pricing in select stores. This means that prices will rise and fall over the course of the day in response to demand. Buying lunch at lunchtime will be like ordering an Uber at rush hour. This may sound pretty drastic, but far more radical changes are on the horizon.