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Journal Articles Neurocomputing Year : 2023

Meta-survey on outlier and anomaly detection


The impact of outliers and anomalies on model estimation and data processing is of paramount importance, as evidenced by the extensive body of research spanning various fields over several decades: thousands of research papers have been published on the subject. As a consequence, numerous reviews, surveys, and textbooks have sought to summarize the existing literature, encompassing a wide range of methods from both the statistical and data mining communities. While these endeavors to organize and summarize the research are invaluable, they face inherent challenges due to the pervasive nature of outliers and anomalies in all data-intensive applications, irrespective of the specific application field or scientific discipline. As a result, the resulting collection of papers remains voluminous and somewhat heterogeneous. To address the need for knowledge organization in this domain, this paper implements the first systematic meta-survey of general surveys and reviews on outlier and anomaly detection. Employing a classical systematic survey approach, the study collects nearly 500 papers using two specialized scientific search engines. From this comprehensive collection, a subset of 56 papers that claim to be general surveys on outlier detection is selected using a snowball search technique to enhance field coverage. A meticulous quality assessment phase further refines the selection to a subset of 25 high-quality general surveys. Using this curated collection, the paper investigates the evolution of the outlier detection field over a 20-year period, revealing emerging themes and methods. Furthermore, an analysis of the surveys sheds light on the survey writing practices adopted by scholars from different communities who have contributed to this field. Finally, the paper delves into several topics where consensus has emerged from the literature. These include taxonomies of outlier types, challenges posed by high-dimensional data, the importance of anomaly scores, the impact of learning conditions, difficulties in benchmarking, and the significance of neural networks. Non-consensual aspects are also discussed, particularly the distinction between local and global outliers and the challenges in organizing detection methods into meaningful taxonomies.
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hal-04335748 , version 1 (11-12-2023)



Madalina Olteanu, Fabrice Rossi, Florian Yger. Meta-survey on outlier and anomaly detection. Neurocomputing, 2023, 555, pp.126634. ⟨10.1016/j.neucom.2023.126634⟩. ⟨hal-04335748⟩
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