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Incremental collusive fraud detection in large-scale online auction networks

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Abstract

An online auction network (OAN) is a community of users who buy or sell items through an auction site. Along with the growing popularity of auction sites, concerns about auction frauds and criminal activities have increased. As a result, fraud detection in OANs has attracted renewed interest from researchers. Since most real OANs are large-scale networks, detecting fraudulent users is usually difficult, especially when multiple users collude with each other and new online auctions are continuously added. Although collusive auction frauds are not as popular as other types of auction frauds, they are more horrible and catastrophic because they often bring huge financial losses. To tackle this issue, some techniques have been proposed to detect collusive frauds in OANs. While all of the techniques have demonstrated promising results, they often suffer from low detection performance or slow convergence, especially in large-scale OANs. In this paper, we overcome these deficiencies by presenting ICAFD, a novel technique that recasts the problem of detecting collusive frauds in large-scale OANs as an incremental semi-supervised anomaly detection problem. In this technique, we propagate reputations from a small set of labeled benign users to unlabeled users along the auction relationships between them and then incrementally update reputations when a new auction gets added to the OAN. This increases the convergence of ICAFD and allows it to avoid wasteful recalculation of reputations from scratch. Our experimental results show that ICAFD can successfully detect different types of collusive auction frauds in a reasonable detection time.

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Correspondence to Mahdi Abadi.

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Dadfarnia, M., Adibnia, F., Abadi, M. et al. Incremental collusive fraud detection in large-scale online auction networks. J Supercomput (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11227-020-03170-9

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Keywords

  • Collusive auction fraud
  • Incremental reputation updating
  • Markov random field
  • Online auction network
  • Semi-supervised anomaly detection