10,16,2021

News Blog Paper China
An Empirical Survey of Data Augmentation for Time Series Classification with Neural Networks2020-07-31   ${\displaystyle \cong }$
In recent times, deep artificial neural networks have achieved many successes in pattern recognition. Part of this success is the reliance on big data to increase generalization. However, in the field of time series recognition, many datasets are often very small. One method of addressing this problem is through the use of data augmentation. In this paper, we survey data augmentation techniques for time series and their application to time series classification with neural networks. We outline four families of time series data augmentation, including transformation-based methods, pattern mixing, generative models, and decomposition methods, and detail their taxonomy. Furthermore, we empirically evaluate 12 time series data augmentation methods on 128 time series classification datasets with 6 different types of neural networks. Through the results, we are able to analyze the characteristics, advantages and disadvantages, and recommendations of each data augmentation method. This survey aims to help in the selection of time series data augmentation for neural network applications.
 
Time Series Data Augmentation for Deep Learning: A Survey2020-02-27   ${\displaystyle \cong }$
Deep learning performs remarkably well on many time series analysis tasks recently. The superior performance of deep neural networks relies heavily on a large number of training data to avoid overfitting. However, the labeled data of many real-world time series applications may be limited such as classification in medical time series and anomaly detection in AIOps. As an effective way to enhance the size and quality of the training data, data augmentation is crucial to the successful application of deep learning models on time series data. In this paper, we systematically review different data augmentation methods for time series. We propose a taxonomy for the reviewed methods, and then provide a structured review for these methods by highlighting their strengths and limitations. We also empirically compare different data augmentation methods for different tasks including time series anomaly detection, classification and forecasting. Finally, we discuss and highlight future research directions, including data augmentation in time-frequency domain, augmentation combination, and data augmentation and weighting for imbalanced class.
 
Applying Nature-Inspired Optimization Algorithms for Selecting Important Timestamps to Reduce Time Series Dimensionality2018-12-09   ${\displaystyle \cong }$
Time series data account for a major part of data supply available today. Time series mining handles several tasks such as classification, clustering, query-by-content, prediction, and others. Performing data mining tasks on raw time series is inefficient as these data are high-dimensional by nature. Instead, time series are first pre-processed using several techniques before different data mining tasks can be performed on them. In general, there are two main approaches to reduce time series dimensionality, the first is what we call landmark methods. These methods are based on finding characteristic features in the target time series. The second is based on data transformations. These methods transform the time series from the original space into a reduced space, where they can be managed more efficiently. The method we present in this paper applies a third approach, as it projects a time series onto a lower-dimensional space by selecting important points in the time series. The novelty of our method is that these points are not chosen according to a geometric criterion, which is subjective in most cases, but through an optimization process. The other important characteristic of our method is that these important points are selected on a dataset-level and not on a single time series-level. The direct advantage of this strategy is that the distance defined on the low-dimensional space lower bounds the original distance applied to raw data. This enables us to apply the popular GEMINI algorithm. The promising results of our experiments on a wide variety of time series datasets, using different optimizers, and applied to the two major data mining tasks, validate our new method.
 
catch22: CAnonical Time-series CHaracteristics2019-01-30   ${\displaystyle \cong }$
Capturing the dynamical properties of time series concisely as interpretable feature vectors can enable efficient clustering and classification for time-series applications across science and industry. Selecting an appropriate feature-based representation of time series for a given application can be achieved through systematic comparison across a comprehensive time-series feature library, such as those in the hctsa toolbox. However, this approach is computationally expensive and involves evaluating many similar features, limiting the widespread adoption of feature-based representations of time series for real-world applications. In this work, we introduce a method to infer small sets of time-series features that (i) exhibit strong classification performance across a given collection of time-series problems, and (ii) are minimally redundant. Applying our method to a set of 93 time-series classification datasets (containing over 147000 time series) and using a filtered version of the hctsa feature library (4791 features), we introduce a generically useful set of 22 CAnonical Time-series CHaracteristics, catch22. This dimensionality reduction, from 4791 to 22, is associated with an approximately 1000-fold reduction in computation time and near linear scaling with time-series length, despite an average reduction in classification accuracy of just 7%. catch22 captures a diverse and interpretable signature of time series in terms of their properties, including linear and non-linear autocorrelation, successive differences, value distributions and outliers, and fluctuation scaling properties. We provide an efficient implementation of catch22, accessible from many programming environments, that facilitates feature-based time-series analysis for scientific, industrial, financial and medical applications using a common language of interpretable time-series properties.
 
Improving the Accuracy of Global Forecasting Models using Time Series Data Augmentation2020-08-06   ${\displaystyle \cong }$
Forecasting models that are trained across sets of many time series, known as Global Forecasting Models (GFM), have shown recently promising results in forecasting competitions and real-world applications, outperforming many state-of-the-art univariate forecasting techniques. In most cases, GFMs are implemented using deep neural networks, and in particular Recurrent Neural Networks (RNN), which require a sufficient amount of time series to estimate their numerous model parameters. However, many time series databases have only a limited number of time series. In this study, we propose a novel, data augmentation based forecasting framework that is capable of improving the baseline accuracy of the GFM models in less data-abundant settings. We use three time series augmentation techniques: GRATIS, moving block bootstrap (MBB), and dynamic time warping barycentric averaging (DBA) to synthetically generate a collection of time series. The knowledge acquired from these augmented time series is then transferred to the original dataset using two different approaches: the pooled approach and the transfer learning approach. When building GFMs, in the pooled approach, we train a model on the augmented time series alongside the original time series dataset, whereas in the transfer learning approach, we adapt a pre-trained model to the new dataset. In our evaluation on competition and real-world time series datasets, our proposed variants can significantly improve the baseline accuracy of GFM models and outperform state-of-the-art univariate forecasting methods.
 
Deep Transformer Models for Time Series Forecasting: The Influenza Prevalence Case2020-01-22   ${\displaystyle \cong }$
In this paper, we present a new approach to time series forecasting. Time series data are prevalent in many scientific and engineering disciplines. Time series forecasting is a crucial task in modeling time series data, and is an important area of machine learning. In this work we developed a novel method that employs Transformer-based machine learning models to forecast time series data. This approach works by leveraging self-attention mechanisms to learn complex patterns and dynamics from time series data. Moreover, it is a generic framework and can be applied to univariate and multivariate time series data, as well as time series embeddings. Using influenza-like illness (ILI) forecasting as a case study, we show that the forecasting results produced by our approach are favorably comparable to the state-of-the-art.
 
Adaptive Weighting Scheme for Automatic Time-Series Data Augmentation2021-02-16   ${\displaystyle \cong }$
Data augmentation methods have been shown to be a fundamental technique to improve generalization in tasks such as image, text and audio classification. Recently, automated augmentation methods have led to further improvements on image classification and object detection leading to state-of-the-art performances. Nevertheless, little work has been done on time-series data, an area that could greatly benefit from automated data augmentation given the usually limited size of the datasets. We present two sample-adaptive automatic weighting schemes for data augmentation: the first learns to weight the contribution of the augmented samples to the loss, and the second method selects a subset of transformations based on the ranking of the predicted training loss. We validate our proposed methods on a large, noisy financial dataset and on time-series datasets from the UCR archive. On the financial dataset, we show that the methods in combination with a trading strategy lead to improvements in annualized returns of over 50$\%$, and on the time-series data we outperform state-of-the-art models on over half of the datasets, and achieve similar performance in accuracy on the others.
 
Deep learning for time series classification2020-10-01   ${\displaystyle \cong }$
Time series analysis is a field of data science which is interested in analyzing sequences of numerical values ordered in time. Time series are particularly interesting because they allow us to visualize and understand the evolution of a process over time. Their analysis can reveal trends, relationships and similarities across the data. There exists numerous fields containing data in the form of time series: health care (electrocardiogram, blood sugar, etc.), activity recognition, remote sensing, finance (stock market price), industry (sensors), etc. Time series classification consists of constructing algorithms dedicated to automatically label time series data. The sequential aspect of time series data requires the development of algorithms that are able to harness this temporal property, thus making the existing off-the-shelf machine learning models for traditional tabular data suboptimal for solving the underlying task. In this context, deep learning has emerged in recent years as one of the most effective methods for tackling the supervised classification task, particularly in the field of computer vision. The main objective of this thesis was to study and develop deep neural networks specifically constructed for the classification of time series data. We thus carried out the first large scale experimental study allowing us to compare the existing deep methods and to position them compared other non-deep learning based state-of-the-art methods. Subsequently, we made numerous contributions in this area, notably in the context of transfer learning, data augmentation, ensembling and adversarial attacks. Finally, we have also proposed a novel architecture, based on the famous Inception network (Google), which ranks among the most efficient to date.
 
Highly comparative feature-based time-series classification2014-05-08   ${\displaystyle \cong }$
A highly comparative, feature-based approach to time series classification is introduced that uses an extensive database of algorithms to extract thousands of interpretable features from time series. These features are derived from across the scientific time-series analysis literature, and include summaries of time series in terms of their correlation structure, distribution, entropy, stationarity, scaling properties, and fits to a range of time-series models. After computing thousands of features for each time series in a training set, those that are most informative of the class structure are selected using greedy forward feature selection with a linear classifier. The resulting feature-based classifiers automatically learn the differences between classes using a reduced number of time-series properties, and circumvent the need to calculate distances between time series. Representing time series in this way results in orders of magnitude of dimensionality reduction, allowing the method to perform well on very large datasets containing long time series or time series of different lengths. For many of the datasets studied, classification performance exceeded that of conventional instance-based classifiers, including one nearest neighbor classifiers using Euclidean distances and dynamic time warping and, most importantly, the features selected provide an understanding of the properties of the dataset, insight that can guide further scientific investigation.
 
Extreme-SAX: Extreme Points Based Symbolic Representation for Time Series Classification2020-10-01   ${\displaystyle \cong }$
Time series classification is an important problem in data mining with several applications in different domains. Because time series data are usually high dimensional, dimensionality reduction techniques have been proposed as an efficient approach to lower their dimensionality. One of the most popular dimensionality reduction techniques of time series data is the Symbolic Aggregate Approximation (SAX), which is inspired by algorithms from text mining and bioinformatics. SAX is simple and efficient because it uses precomputed distances. The disadvantage of SAX is its inability to accurately represent important points in the time series. In this paper we present Extreme-SAX (E-SAX), which uses only the extreme points of each segment to represent the time series. E-SAX has exactly the same simplicity and efficiency of the original SAX, yet it gives better results in time series classification than the original SAX, as we show in extensive experiments on a variety of time series datasets.
 
RobustTAD: Robust Time Series Anomaly Detection via Decomposition and Convolutional Neural Networks2020-02-21   ${\displaystyle \cong }$
The monitoring and management of numerous and diverse time series data at Alibaba Group calls for an effective and scalable time series anomaly detection service. In this paper, we propose RobustTAD, a Robust Time series Anomaly Detection framework by integrating robust seasonal-trend decomposition and convolutional neural network for time series data. The seasonal-trend decomposition can effectively handle complicated patterns in time series, and meanwhile significantly simplifies the architecture of the neural network, which is an encoder-decoder architecture with skip connections. This architecture can effectively capture the multi-scale information from time series, which is very useful in anomaly detection. Due to the limited labeled data in time series anomaly detection, we systematically investigate data augmentation methods in both time and frequency domains. We also introduce label-based weight and value-based weight in the loss function by utilizing the unbalanced nature of the time series anomaly detection problem. Compared with the widely used forecasting-based anomaly detection algorithms, decomposition-based algorithms, traditional statistical algorithms, as well as recent neural network based algorithms, RobustTAD performs significantly better on public benchmark datasets. It is deployed as a public online service and widely adopted in different business scenarios at Alibaba Group.
 
Improving Neural Networks for Time Series Forecasting using Data Augmentation and AutoML2021-03-02   ${\displaystyle \cong }$
Statistical methods such as the Box-Jenkins method for time series forecasting have been prominent since their development in 1970. Many researchers rely on such models as they can be efficiently estimated and also provide interpretability. However, advances in machine learning research indicate that neural networks can be powerful data modeling techniques, as they can give higher accuracy for a plethora of learning problems and datasets. In the past, they have been tried on time series forecasting as well, but their overall results have not been significantly better than the statistical models especially for intermediate length times series data. Their modeling capacities are limited in cases where enough data may not be available to estimate the large number of parameters that these non-linear models require. This paper presents an easy to implement data augmentation method to significantly improve the performance of such networks. Our method, Augmented-Neural-Network, which involves using forecasts from statistical models, can help unlock the power of neural networks on intermediate length time series and produces competitive results. It shows that data augmentation, when paired Automated Machine Learning techniques such as Neural Architecture Search, can help to find the best neural architecture for a given time series. Using the combination of these, demonstrates significant enhancement for two configurations of our technique for COVID-19 dataset, improving forecasting accuracy by 19.90% and 11.43%, respectively, over the neural networks that do not use augmented data.
 
Multi-Faceted Representation Learning with Hybrid Architecture for Time Series Classification2020-12-21   ${\displaystyle \cong }$
Time series classification problems exist in many fields and have been explored for a couple of decades. However, they still remain challenging, and their solutions need to be further improved for real-world applications in terms of both accuracy and efficiency. In this paper, we propose a hybrid neural architecture, called Self-Attentive Recurrent Convolutional Networks (SARCoN), to learn multi-faceted representations for univariate time series. SARCoN is the synthesis of long short-term memory networks with self-attentive mechanisms and Fully Convolutional Networks, which work in parallel to learn the representations of univariate time series from different perspectives. The component modules of the proposed architecture are trained jointly in an end-to-end manner and they classify the input time series in a cooperative way. Due to its domain-agnostic nature, SARCoN is able to generalize a diversity of domain tasks. Our experimental results show that, compared to the state-of-the-art approaches for time series classification, the proposed architecture can achieve remarkable improvements for a set of univariate time series benchmarks from the UCR repository. Moreover, the self-attention and the global average pooling in the proposed architecture enable visible interpretability by facilitating the identification of the contribution regions of the original time series. An overall analysis confirms that multi-faceted representations of time series aid in capturing deep temporal corrections within complex time series, which is essential for the improvement of time series classification performance. Our work provides a novel angle that deepens the understanding of time series classification, qualifying our proposed model as an ideal choice for real-world applications.
 
GRATIS: GeneRAting TIme Series with diverse and controllable characteristics2020-01-07   ${\displaystyle \cong }$
The explosion of time series data in recent years has brought a flourish of new time series analysis methods, for forecasting, clustering, classification and other tasks. The evaluation of these new methods requires either collecting or simulating a diverse set of time series benchmarking data to enable reliable comparisons against alternative approaches. We propose GeneRAting TIme Series with diverse and controllable characteristics, named GRATIS, with the use of mixture autoregressive (MAR) models. We simulate sets of time series using MAR models and investigate the diversity and coverage of the generated time series in a time series feature space. By tuning the parameters of the MAR models, GRATIS is also able to efficiently generate new time series with controllable features. In general, as a costless surrogate to the traditional data collection approach, GRATIS can be used as an evaluation tool for tasks such as time series forecasting and classification. We illustrate the usefulness of our time series generation process through a time series forecasting application.
 
Evaluating data augmentation for financial time series classification2020-10-28   ${\displaystyle \cong }$
Data augmentation methods in combination with deep neural networks have been used extensively in computer vision on classification tasks, achieving great success; however, their use in time series classification is still at an early stage. This is even more so in the field of financial prediction, where data tends to be small, noisy and non-stationary. In this paper we evaluate several augmentation methods applied to stocks datasets using two state-of-the-art deep learning models. The results show that several augmentation methods significantly improve financial performance when used in combination with a trading strategy. For a relatively small dataset ($\approx30K$ samples), augmentation methods achieve up to $400\%$ improvement in risk adjusted return performance; for a larger stock dataset ($\approx300K$ samples), results show up to $40\%$ improvement.
 
DTW-Merge: A Novel Data Augmentation Technique for Time Series Classification2021-03-01   ${\displaystyle \cong }$
In recent years, neural networks achieved much success in various applications. The main challenge in training deep neural networks is the lack of sufficient data to improve the model's generalization and avoid overfitting. One of the solutions is to generate new training samples. This paper proposes a novel data augmentation method for time series based on Dynamic Time Warping. This method is inspired by the concept that warped parts of two time series have the same temporal properties. Exploiting the proposed approach with recently-introduced ResNet reveals the improvement of results on the 2018 UCR Time Series Classification Archive.
 
Complexity Measures and Features for Times Series classification2020-03-04   ${\displaystyle \cong }$
Classification of time series is a growing problem in different disciplines due to the progressive digitalization of the world. Currently, the state of the art in time series classification is dominated by Collective of Transformation-Based Ensembles. This algorithm is composed of several classifiers of diverse nature that are combined according to their results in an internal cross validation procedure. Its high complexity prevents it from being applied to large datasets. One Nearest Neighbours with Dynamic Time Warping remains the base classifier in any time series classification problem, for its simplicity and good results. Despite their good performance, they share a weakness, which is that they are not interpretable. In the field of time series classification, there is a tradeoff between accuracy and interpretability. In this work, we propose a set of characteristics capable of extracting information of the structure of the time series in order to face time series classification problems. The use of these characteristics allows the use of traditional classification algorithms in time series problems. The experimental results demonstrate a statistically significant improvement in the accuracy of the results obtained by our proposal with respect to the original time series. Apart from the improvement in accuracy, our proposal is able to offer interpretable results based on the set of characteristics proposed.
 
Automatic time-series phenotyping using massive feature extraction2016-12-15   ${\displaystyle \cong }$
Across a far-reaching diversity of scientific and industrial applications, a general key problem involves relating the structure of time-series data to a meaningful outcome, such as detecting anomalous events from sensor recordings, or diagnosing patients from physiological time-series measurements like heart rate or brain activity. Currently, researchers must devote considerable effort manually devising, or searching for, properties of their time series that are suitable for the particular analysis problem at hand. Addressing this non-systematic and time-consuming procedure, here we introduce a new tool, hctsa, that selects interpretable and useful properties of time series automatically, by comparing implementations over 7700 time-series features drawn from diverse scientific literatures. Using two exemplar biological applications, we show how hctsa allows researchers to leverage decades of time-series research to quantify and understand informative structure in their time-series data.
 
PatchX: Explaining Deep Models by Intelligible Pattern Patches for Time-series Classification2021-02-11   ${\displaystyle \cong }$
The classification of time-series data is pivotal for streaming data and comes with many challenges. Although the amount of publicly available datasets increases rapidly, deep neural models are only exploited in a few areas. Traditional methods are still used very often compared to deep neural models. These methods get preferred in safety-critical, financial, or medical fields because of their interpretable results. However, their performance and scale-ability are limited, and finding suitable explanations for time-series classification tasks is challenging due to the concepts hidden in the numerical time-series data. Visualizing complete time-series results in a cognitive overload concerning our perception and leads to confusion. Therefore, we believe that patch-wise processing of the data results in a more interpretable representation. We propose a novel hybrid approach that utilizes deep neural networks and traditional machine learning algorithms to introduce an interpretable and scale-able time-series classification approach. Our method first performs a fine-grained classification for the patches followed by sample level classification.
 
TrivialAugment: Tuning-free Yet State-of-the-Art Data Augmentation2021-03-18   ${\displaystyle \cong }$
Automatic augmentation methods have recently become a crucial pillar for strong model performance in vision tasks. Current methods are mostly a trade-off between being simple, in-expensive or well-performing. We present a most simple automatic augmentation baseline, TrivialAugment, that outperforms previous methods almost for free. It is parameter-free and only applies a single augmentation to each image. To us, TrivialAugment's effectiveness is very unexpected. Thus, we performed very thorough experiments on its performance. First, we compare TrivialAugment to previous state-of-the-art methods in a plethora of scenarios. Then, we perform multiple ablation studies with different augmentation spaces, augmentation methods and setups to understand the crucial requirements for its performance. We condensate our learnings into recommendations to automatic augmentation users. Additionally, we provide a simple interface to use multiple automatic augmentation methods in any codebase, as well as, our full code base for reproducibility. Since our work reveals a stagnation in many parts of automatic augmentation research, we end with a short proposal of best practices for sustained future progress in automatic augmentation methods.