A Hybrid Prediction Method for Realistic Network Traffic With Temporal Convolutional Network and LSTM

Jing Bi, Xiang Zhang, Haitao Yuan, Jia Zhang, Meng Chu Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations


Accurate and real-time prediction of network traffic can not only help system operators allocate resources rationally according to their actual business needs but also help them assess the performance of a network and analyze its health status. In recent years, neural networks have been proved suitable to predict time series data, represented by the model of a long short-term memory (LSTM) neural network and a temporal convolutional network (TCN). This article proposes a novel hybrid prediction method named SG and TCN-based LSTM (ST-LSTM) for such network traffic prediction, which synergistically combines the power of the Savitzky-Golay (SG) filter, the TCN, as well as the LSTM. ST-LSTM employs a three-phase end-to-end methodology serving time series prediction. It first eliminates noise in raw data using the SG filter, then extracts short-term features from sequences applying the TCN, and then captures the long-term dependence in the data exploiting the LSTM. Experimental results over real-world datasets demonstrate that the proposed ST-LSTM outperforms state-of-the-art algorithms in terms of prediction accuracy. Note to Practitioners - This work considers real-time and high-accuracy prediction of network traffic. It is highly important to well predict network traffic by capturing long-term dependence and effectively extracting high- and low-frequency information from time series data. Yet, it is a big challenge to achieve it because there are unstable characteristics and strong nonlinear features in the network traffic due to continuous expansion of network scale and fast emergence of new services. Current prediction methods usually have oversimplified theoretical assumptions, need significant time and memory, or suffer problems of gradient disappearance or early convergence. Thus, they fail to effectively capture the nonlinear characteristics of large-scale network sequences. This work proposes a hybrid prediction method named SG and TCN-based LSTM (ST-LSTM), which integrates the merits of the Savitzky-Golay filter, the temporal convolutional network (TCN), and the long short-term memory (LSTM), serving as smoothing time series, capturing short-term local features, and capturing long-term dependence, respectively. Experimental results based on the real-life dataset demonstrate that it achieves better prediction accuracy than its state-of-the-art peers, including the TCN and the LSTM. It can be readily implemented and deployed in many real-life industrial areas including smart city, edge computing, cloud computing, and data centers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1869-1879
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Long short-term memory (LSTM)
  • Savitzky-Golay (SG) filter
  • machine learning
  • network traffic prediction
  • temporal convolutional network (TCN)


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