The Numenta Anomaly Benchmark
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The Numenta Anomaly Benchmark Build Status

Welcome. This repository contains the data and scripts comprising the Numenta Anomaly Benchmark (NAB). NAB is a novel benchmark for evaluating algorithms for anomaly detection in streaming, real-time applications. It is comprised of over 50 labeled real-world and artificial timeseries data files plus a novel scoring mechanism designed for real-time applications.

Included are the tools to allow you to easily run NAB on your own anomaly detection algorithms; see the NAB entry points info. Competitive results tied to open source code will be posted in the wiki on the Scoreboard. Let us know about your work by emailing us at or submitting a pull request.

This readme is a brief overview and contains details for setting up NAB. Please refer to the NAB publication or the NAB Whitepaper in the wiki for more details about NAB scoring, data, motivation, etc.

We encourage you to publish your results on running NAB, and share them with us at Please cite the following publication when referring to NAB:

Lavin, Alexander and Ahmad, Subutai. "Evaluating Real-time Anomaly Detection Algorithms – the Numenta Anomaly Benchmark", Fourteenth International Conference on Machine Learning and Applications, December 2015. [PDF]


The NAB scores are normalized such that the maximum possible is 100.0 (i.e. the perfect detector), and a baseline of 0.0 is determined by the "null" detector (which makes no detections).

Detector Standard Profile Reward Low FP Reward Low FN
Perfect 100.0 100.0 100.0
Numenta HTM* 70.1 63.1 74.3
CAD OSE 69.9 67.0 73.2
KNN CAD 58.0 43.4 64.8
Relative Entropy 54.6 47.6 58.8
Twitter ADVec v1.0.0 47.1 33.6 53.5
Windowed Gaussian 39.6 20.9 47.4
Etsy Skyline 35.7 27.1 44.5
Bayesian Changepoint** 17.7 3.2 32.2
EXPoSE 16.4 3.2 26.9
Random*** 11.0 1.2 19.5
Null 0.0 0.0 0.0

As of NAB v1.0

* From NuPIC version 0.5.6 (available on PyPI).

** The original algorithm was not designed for anomaly detection. Details of the implementation and parameter tuning are in the detector's code.

*** Scores reflect the mean across a range of random seeds. The spread of scores for each profile are 7.95 to 16.83 for Standard, -1.56 to 2.14 for Reward Low FP, and 11.34 to 23.68 for Reward Low FN.

† Algorithm was an entry to the 2016 NAB Competition.

Please see the wiki section on contributing algorithms for discussion on posting algorithms to the scoreboard.


The NAB corpus of 58 timeseries data files is designed to provide data for research in streaming anomaly detection. It is comprised of both real-world and artifical timeseries data containing labeled anomalous periods of behavior.

The majority of the data is real-world from a variety of sources such as AWS server metrics, Twitter volume, advertisement clicking metrics, traffic data, and more. All data is included in the repository, with more details in the data readme. We are in the process of adding more data, and actively searching for more data. Please contact us at if you have similar data (ideally with known anomalies) that you would like to see incorporated into NAB.

The NAB version will be updated whenever new data (and corresponding labels) is added to the corpus; NAB is currently in v1.0.

Additional Scores

For comparison, here are the NAB V1.0 scores for some additional flavors of HTM.

  • NumentaTM HTM detector uses the implementation of temporal memory found here.
  • Numenta HTM detector with no likelihood uses the raw anomaly scores directly. To run without likelihood, set the variable self.useLikelihood in to False.
  • nab-comportex is a twist on HTM anomaly detection using Comportex, a community-driven HTM implementation in Clojure. Please see Felix Andrew's blog post on experiments with this algorithm.
  • HTM Java is a Community-Driven Java port of HTM.
Detector Standard Profile Reward Low FP Reward Low FN
Numenta HTM* 70.1 63.1 74.3
HTM Java 65.5 53.2 70.4
nab-comportex 64.6 58.8 69.6
NumentaTM HTM* 64.6 56.7 69.2
Numenta HTM*, no likelihood 53.62 34.15 61.89

* From NuPIC version 0.5.6 (available on PyPI).

† Algorithm was an entry to the 2016 NAB Competition.

Installing NAB 1.0

Supported Platforms

  • OSX 10.9 and higher
  • Amazon Linux (via AMI)

Other platforms may work but have not been tested.

Initial requirements

You need to manually install the following:

Download this repository

Use the Github links provided in the right sidebar.

Install the Python requirements
cd NAB
(sudo) pip install -r requirements.txt

This will install the additional required modules pandas and simplejson.

Install NAB


python install --user

Or if you are actively working on the code and are familiar with manual PYTHONPATH setup:

python develop --prefix=/some/other/path/


There are several different use cases for NAB:

  1. If you just want to look at all the results we reported in the paper, there is no need to run anything. All the data files are in the data subdirectory and all individual detections for reported algorithms are checked in to the results subdirectory. Please see the README files in those locations.

  2. If you want to plot some of the results, please see the README in the scripts directory for scripts/

  3. If you have your own algorithm and want to run the NAB benchmark, please see the NAB Entry Points section in the wiki. (The easiest option is often to simply run your algorithm on the data and output results in the CSV format we specify. Then run the NAB scoring algorithm to compute the final scores. This is how we scored the Twitter algorithm, which is written in R.)

  4. If you are a NuPIC user and just want to run the Numenta HTM detector follow the directions below to "Run HTM with NAB".

  5. If you want to run everything including the bundled Skyline detector follow the directions below to "Run full NAB". Note that this will take hours as the Skyline code is quite slow.

  6. If you just want to run NAB on one or more data files (e.g. for debugging) follow the directions below to "Run a subset of NAB".

Run HTM with NAB

First make sure NuPIC is installed and working properly. Then:

cd /path/to/nab
python -d numenta --detect --score --normalize

This will run the Numenta detector only and produce normalized scores. Note that by default it tries to use all the cores on your machine. The above command should take about 20-30 minutes on a current powerful laptop with 4-8 cores. For debugging you can run subsets of the data files by modifying and specifying specific label files (see section below). Please type:

python --help

to see all the options.

Note that to replicate results exactly as in the paper you may need to checkout the specific version of NuPIC (and associated nupic.core) that is noted in the Scoreboard:

cd /path/to/nupic/
git checkout -b nab {TAG NAME}
cd /path/to/nupic.core/
git checkout -b nab {TAG NAME}
Run full NAB
cd /path/to/nab

This will run everything and produce results files for all anomaly detection methods. Several algorithms are included in the repo, such as the Numenta HTM anomaly detection method, as well as methods from the Etsy Skyline anomaly detection library, a sliding window detector, Bayes Changepoint, and so on. This will also pass those results files to the scoring script to generate final NAB scores. Note: this option will take many many hours to run.

Run subset of NAB data files

For debugging it is sometimes useful to be able to run your algorithm on a subset of the NAB data files or on your own set of data files. You can do that by creating a custom combined_windows.json file that only contains labels for the files you want to run. This new file should be in exactly the same format as combined_windows.json except it would only contain windows for the files you are interested in.

Example: an example file containing two files is in labels/combined_windows_tiny.json. The following command shows you how to run NAB on a subset of labels:

cd /path/to/nab
python -d numenta --detect --windowsFile labels/combined_windows_tiny.json

This will run the detect phase of NAB on the data files specified in the above JSON file. Note that scoring and normalization are not supported with this option. Note also that you may see warning messages regarding the lack of labels for other files. You can ignore these warnings.