Academy & Industry Research Collaboration Center (AIRCC)

Volume 11, Number 23, December 2021

An Enhanced Machine Learning Topic Classification Methodology for Cybersecurity


Elijah Pelofske1, Lorie M. Liebrock1 and Vincent Urias2, 1New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, USA, 2Sandia National Laboratories, USA


In this research, we use user defined labels from three internet text sources (Reddit, Stackexchange, Arxiv) to train 21 different machine learning models for the topic classification task of detecting cybersecurity discussions in natural text. We analyze the false positive and false negative rates of each of the 21 model’s in a cross validation experiment. Then we present a Cybersecurity Topic Classification (CTC) tool, which takes the majority vote of the 21 trained machine learning models as the decision mechanism for detecting cybersecurity related text. We also show that the majority vote mechanism of the CTC tool provides lower false negative and false positive rates on average than any of the 21 individual models. We show that the CTC tool is scalable to the hundreds of thousands of documents with a wall clock time on the order of hours.


cybersecurity, topic modeling, text classification, machine learning, neural networks, natural language processing, Stackexchange, Reddit, Arxiv, social media.