Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Electrical Engineering

First Advisor's Name

Hai Deng

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee chair

Second Advisor's Name

Frank Urban

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Third Advisor's Name

Jean Andrian

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Deng Pan

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member


intrusion detection, classification, fuzzy, Dempster-shafer theory

Date of Defense



Intrusion detection is the essential part of network security in combating against illegal network access or malicious cyberattacks. Due to the constantly evolving nature of cyber attacks, it has been a technical challenge for an intrusion detection system (IDS) to effectively recognize unknown attacks or known attacks with inadequate training data. Therefore in this dissertation work, an innovative two-stage classifier is developed for accurately and efficiently detecting both unknown attacks and known attacks with insufficient or inaccurate training information.

The novel two-stage fuzzy classification scheme is based on advanced machine learning techniques specifically for handling the ambiguity of traffic connections and network data. In the first stage of the classification, a fuzzy C-means (FCM) algorithm is employed to softly compute and optimize clustering centers of the training datasets with some degree of fuzziness counting for feature inaccuracy and ambiguity in the training data. Subsequently, a distance-weighted k-NN (k-nearest neighbors) classifier, combined with the Dempster-Shafer Theory (DST), is introduced to assess the belief functions and pignistic probabilities of the incoming data associated with each of known classes to further address the data uncertainty issue in the cyberattack data. In the second stage of the proposed classification algorithm, a subsequent classification scheme is implemented based on the obtained pignistic probabilities and their entropy functions to determine if the input data are normal, one of the known attacks or an unknown attack. Secondly, to strengthen the robustness to attacks, we form the three-layer hierarchy ensemble classifier based on the FCM weighted k-NN DST classifier to have more precise inferences than those made by a single classifier. The proposed intrusion detection algorithm is evaluated through the application of the KDD’99 datasets and their variants containing known and unknown attacks. The experimental results show that the new two-stage fuzzy KNN-DST classifier outperforms other well-known classifiers in intrusion detection and is especially effective in detecting unknown attacks.





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