Encyclopedia of Database Systems

2018 Edition
| Editors: Ling Liu, M. Tamer Özsu

Outlier Detection

  • Arthur ZimekEmail author
  • Erich Schubert
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-8265-9_80719


Anomaly detection; Fraud detection; Identification of outliers; Rejection of outliers


Outlier detection aims at identifying those objects in a database that are unusual, i.e., different than the majority of the data and therefore suspicious resulting from a contamination, error, or fraud. In a statistical modeling, the assessment of “being unusual” is typically based on a parametric model of the data, identifying those objects that do not fit well to the modeled distribution as outliers. In the database context, the statistical intuition of “being unusual” is typically modeled in an approximate but more efficient, nonparametric way by (local) density estimates and comparison to some reference set.

Historical Background

Filtering out those observations that look suspiciously different than the majority of observations is a procedure probably tacitly practiced since people studied data collections and tried to make sense out of observations. In the eighteenth century,...

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Recommended Reading

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität MünchenMunichGermany
  2. 2.Department of Mathematics and Computer ScienceUniversity of Southern DenmarkOdenseDenmark
  3. 3.Heidelberg UniversityHeidelbergGermany