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MT²AD: multi-layer temporal transaction anomaly detection in ethereum networks with GNN


Han, Beibei; Wei, Yingmei; Wang, Qingyong; De Collibus, Francesco Maria; Tessone, Claudio J (2024). MT²AD: multi-layer temporal transaction anomaly detection in ethereum networks with GNN. Complex & Intelligent Systems, 10(1):613-626.

Abstract

In recent years, a surge of criminal activities with cross-cryptocurrency trades have emerged in Ethereum, the second-largest public blockchain platform. Most of the existing anomaly detection methods utilize the traditional machine learning with feature engineering or graph representation learning technique to capture the information in transaction network. However, these methods either ignore the timestamp information and the transaction flow direction information in transaction network or only consider single transaction network, the cross-cryptocurrency trading patterns in Ethereum are usually ignored. In this paper, we introduce a Multi-layer Temporal Transaction Anomaly Detection (MT$^2$AD) model in Ethereum network with graph neural network. Specifically, for a given Ethereum token transaction network, we first extract its initial features including the structure subgraph and edge’s feature. Then, we model the temporal information in subgraph as a series of network snapshots according to the timestamp on each edge and time window. To capture the cross-cryptocurrency trading patterns, we combine the snapshots from multiple token transactions at a given timestamp, and we consider it as a new combined graph. We further use the graph convolution encoder with attention mechanism and pooling operation on this new graph to obtain the graph-level embedding, and we transform the anomaly detection on dynamic multi-layer Ethereum transaction networks as a graph classification task with these graph-level embeddings. MT$^2$AD can integrate the transaction structure feature, edge’s feature and cross-cryptocurrency trading patterns into a framework to perform anomaly detection with graph neural networks. Experiments on three real-world multi-layer transaction networks show that the proposed MT$^2$AD (0.8789 Precision, 0.9375 Recall, 0.4987 FbMacro and 0.9351 FbWeighted) can achieve the best performance on most evaluation metrics in comparison with some competing approaches, and the effectiveness in consideration of multiple tokens is also demonstrated.

Abstract

In recent years, a surge of criminal activities with cross-cryptocurrency trades have emerged in Ethereum, the second-largest public blockchain platform. Most of the existing anomaly detection methods utilize the traditional machine learning with feature engineering or graph representation learning technique to capture the information in transaction network. However, these methods either ignore the timestamp information and the transaction flow direction information in transaction network or only consider single transaction network, the cross-cryptocurrency trading patterns in Ethereum are usually ignored. In this paper, we introduce a Multi-layer Temporal Transaction Anomaly Detection (MT$^2$AD) model in Ethereum network with graph neural network. Specifically, for a given Ethereum token transaction network, we first extract its initial features including the structure subgraph and edge’s feature. Then, we model the temporal information in subgraph as a series of network snapshots according to the timestamp on each edge and time window. To capture the cross-cryptocurrency trading patterns, we combine the snapshots from multiple token transactions at a given timestamp, and we consider it as a new combined graph. We further use the graph convolution encoder with attention mechanism and pooling operation on this new graph to obtain the graph-level embedding, and we transform the anomaly detection on dynamic multi-layer Ethereum transaction networks as a graph classification task with these graph-level embeddings. MT$^2$AD can integrate the transaction structure feature, edge’s feature and cross-cryptocurrency trading patterns into a framework to perform anomaly detection with graph neural networks. Experiments on three real-world multi-layer transaction networks show that the proposed MT$^2$AD (0.8789 Precision, 0.9375 Recall, 0.4987 FbMacro and 0.9351 FbWeighted) can achieve the best performance on most evaluation metrics in comparison with some competing approaches, and the effectiveness in consideration of multiple tokens is also demonstrated.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, not_refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Informatics
08 Research Priority Programs > Social Networks
Dewey Decimal Classification:000 Computer science, knowledge & systems
Scopus Subject Areas:Physical Sciences > Information Systems
Physical Sciences > Engineering (miscellaneous)
Physical Sciences > Computational Mathematics
Physical Sciences > Artificial Intelligence
Scope:Discipline-based scholarship (basic research)
Language:English
Date:February 2024
Deposited On:15 Feb 2024 10:50
Last Modified:30 Apr 2024 01:51
Publisher:SpringerOpen
Number of Pages:14
ISSN:2199-4536
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s40747-023-01126-z
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)