Computer Communications ( IF 2.816 ) Pub Date : 2020-11-21 , DOI: 10.1016/j.comcom.2020.11.003 Zhiping Jin; Zhibiao Liang; Yu Wang; Weizhi Meng
In complex networks systems like mobile edge infrastructures, real-time traffic classification according to application types is an enabling technique for network resource optimization and advanced security management. State-of-the-art schemes take advantage of machine learning techniques to train classification models based on behavioral characteristics of network traffic flows. Nonetheless, most existing studies assume complete a priori information of the application classes and formulate the task as a standalone multi-class classification problem. Such classification models cannot properly handle the unknown applications that are absent from the training set during the time of training. In this work, we propose a practical mobile network traffic classification scheme that builds robust classifiers based on incomplete a priori information. Specifically, the core idea is to extract the unknown patterns emerging in the network periodically to complement the initial labeled data set that only consists of a limited number of known applications. We propose two algorithms for the unknown pattern extraction step. One is based on iterative asymmetric binary classification and the other is based on constrained clustering. Empirical results based on a public data set show that the proposed scheme can effetively detect both known and unknown applications.