New Research Paper from Numenta Demonstrates Results of Machine Intelligence Algorithm on Real-Time Anomaly Detection for Streaming Data

Latest Peer-Reviewed Paper Appears in a Special Issue of Neurocomputing;

Numenta Article is Featured in IEEE Spectrum Special Issue on Understanding the Brain.

Real-world temperature sensor data from an internal component of a large industrial machine. Anomalies are labeled with circles. This file is included in the Numenta Anomaly Benchmark corpus. The first anomaly was a planned shutdown. The third anomaly was a catastrophic system failure. The second anomaly, a subtle but observable change in the behavior, indicated the actual onset of the problem that led to the eventual system failure. (Graphic: Business Wire)

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REDWOOD CITY, Calif.--()--The exponential increase in the use of connected real-time sensors to surface streaming data in the age of the Internet of Things presents significant challenges and opportunities for the emerging field of streaming analytics. Detection of anomalies in streaming data, in particular, has becoming an increasingly important application across a large number of industries for critical use cases – ranging from preventative maintenance to fraud prevention, fault detection, and systems monitoring. But the real-time nature of streaming data has presented challenges for applying classic AI and machine learning techniques to date.

Neuroscience and machine intelligence researchers at Numenta Inc. have demonstrated how a novel anomaly detection algorithm, based on their theory of how the brain works, can tackle the problem with a technique that meets the requirements of streaming data by processing data in real-time and offering continuous, online detection without supervision – while simultaneously making predictions. The technique is based on an online sequence memory algorithm called Hierarchical Temporal Memory (HTM).

Numenta researchers have described the technique in a new peer-reviewed paper, “Unsupervised real-time anomaly detection for streaming data,” * published in a special issue of Neurocomputing.

In the new paper, the researchers also present the results of using the Numenta Anomaly Benchmark (NAB), a benchmark containing real-world data streams with labeled anomalies. NAB, an open-source benchmark and tool designed to help data researchers evaluate the effectiveness of algorithms for anomaly detection in streaming, real-time applications, was first presented in 2015 during the IEEE Conference on Machine Learning and Applications. NAB provides a first-of-its-kind controlled open-source environment for testing a wide range of anomaly detection algorithms on streaming data. Numenta offers the open standard benchmark for the research community to use, add to, and even draw inspiration from for new, innovative techniques.

“While many anomaly detection approaches exist for time-series data, the majority of methods are limited and apply statistical techniques that are computationally lightweight for streaming analytics. The versatile properties of HTM, which are patterned after the principles of how the brain works, make it well suited for streaming anomaly detection,” said Numenta Research VP Subutai Ahmad.

“We are bridging the gap between neuroscience and AI by using brain function as a guide to solving machine learning problems and designing more intelligent systems,” added Ahmad.

The release of the latest technical paper in Neurocomputing, which Ahmad co-authored with Numenta researchers Alexander Lavin, Scott Purdy and Zuha Agha, is in keeping with Numenta’s open research philosophy. Numenta researchers’ previously published peer-reviewed works published in the journals Frontiers and Neural Computation, among others.

Numenta Article “What Intelligent Machines Need to Learn from the Neocortex” Appears in IEEE Spectrum

Numenta’s work at the intersection of neuroscience and AI is also featured in the current issue of IEEE Spectrum magazine. The special issue on worldwide efforts to understand the human brain to use the knowledge to build next-generation computers features a by-lined article by Numenta co-founder Jeff Hawkins.

In the article, Hawkins argues why understanding the brain is critical for building intelligent machines. Hawkins writes: “Although machine-learning techniques such as deep neural networks have recently made impressive gains, they are still a world away from being intelligent, from being able to understand and act in the world the way we do. The only example of intelligence, of the ability to learn from the world, to plan and to execute, is the brain. Therefore, we must understand the principles underlying human intelligence and use them to guide us in the development of truly intelligent machines.”

For the complete IEEE article go here.

About Numenta

Numenta scientists and engineers are working on one of science’s grand challenges: how the brain works and how brain principles will be used in Machine Intelligence.

Founded in 2005, Numenta is developing a theory of how the neocortex works. We create software technologies based on this theory and apply them to machine learning applications for continuously streaming data. Numenta publishes its progress in scientific journals and makes all of its code public in an open source project.


* Subutai Ahmad, Alexander Lavin, Scott Purdy and Zuha Agha (2017) Unsupervised real-time anomaly detection for streaming data. Neurocomputing.


Krause Taylor Associates
Betty Taylor, 408-981-7551

Release Summary

Researchers at Numenta have published a new peer-reviewed paper, “Unsupervised real-time anomaly detection for streaming data,” in Neurocomputing.

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Krause Taylor Associates
Betty Taylor, 408-981-7551