Pyramid Recurrent Neural Networks for Multi-Scale Change-Point Detection

Many real-world time series, such as in activity recognition, finance, or climate science, have changepoints where the system's structure or parameters change. Detecting changes is important as they may indicate critical events. However, existing methods for changepoint detection face challenges when (1) the patterns of change cannot be modeled using simple and predefined metrics, and (2) changes can occur gradually, at multiple time-scales. To address this, we show how changepoint detection can be treated as a supervised learning problem, and propose a new deep neural network architecture that can efficiently identify both abrupt and gradual changes at multiple scales. Our proposed method, pyramid recurrent neural network (PRNN), is designed to be scale-invariant, by incorporating wavelets and pyramid analysis techniques from multi-scale signal processing. Through experiments on synthetic and real-world datasets, we show that PRNN can detect abrupt and gradual changes with higher accuracy than the state of the art and can extrapolate to detect changepoints at novel timescales that have not been seen in training.

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