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Mobile Information Systems
Volume 2016, Article ID 1542540, 11 pages
Research Article

Latent Clustering Models for Outlier Identification in Telecom Data

1Columbia University, New York, NY, USA
2Nanjing Howso Technology, Nanjing, China
3Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA, USA
4Department of Marketing, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong

Received 29 July 2016; Revised 3 November 2016; Accepted 17 November 2016

Academic Editor: Mariusz Głąbowski

Copyright © 2016 Ye Ouyang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Collected telecom data traffic has boomed in recent years, due to the development of 4G mobile devices and other similar high-speed machines. The ability to quickly identify unexpected traffic data in this stream is critical for mobile carriers, as it can be caused by either fraudulent intrusion or technical problems. Clustering models can help to identify issues by showing patterns in network data, which can quickly catch anomalies and highlight previously unseen outliers. In this article, we develop and compare clustering models for telecom data, focusing on those that include time-stamp information management. Two main models are introduced, solved in detail, and analyzed: Gaussian Probabilistic Latent Semantic Analysis (GPLSA) and time-dependent Gaussian Mixture Models (time-GMM). These models are then compared with other different clustering models, such as Gaussian model and GMM (which do not contain time-stamp information). We perform computation on both sample and telecom traffic data to show that the efficiency and robustness of GPLSA make it the superior method to detect outliers and provide results automatically with low tuning parameters or expertise requirement.