Hybrid Variational Autoencoder-based Models for Fraud Detection

Hybrid Variational Autoencoder-based Models for Fraud Detection

Hybrid Variational Autoencoder-based Models for Fraud Detection. Typical anomaly involves highly imbalanced datasets


The objective of this work is to develop deep learning models using Keras/Tensorflow API to detect anomalous credit card transactions and classify fraud. Typical anomaly detection involves highly imbalanced datasets. We employ stacked variational autoencoders (VAE) in an unsupervised setting to efficiently classify fraudulent transactions. The models are tested using Kaggle credit-card fraud dataset. Additional benchmarking is done using KDDCUP99–10% dataset as well.

Stacked variational autoencoders (VAEs) are used to learn latent space representation of “normal” credit card transactions by training them only with “normal” data. The anomalous transactions are identified by calculating the reconstruction error using the trained VAE network. Unusually high reconstruction errors are indicative of anomalous transactions/fraudulent transactions. We identify an optimum threshold for reconstruction error, beyond which the transactions are labelled as fraud, as the one which yields highest model accuracy (in terms of F1-score, and area under ROC).

We also explore different hybrid models involving combination of VAEs with supervised learning models such as Random-Forest Classifiers in order to improve the classification accuracy. In the hybrid workflow, the stacked VAEs are used solely as generative models to augment the under-sampled data (i.e. anomalies). The VAE-based data augmentation is used to boost the performance of a Random-Forest classifier.

deep-learning variational-autoencoder fraud-detection tensorflow kl-divergence

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