Asymmetric Capacity Expansion for Real-Time Cell Phone Fraud Detection


A large U.S. telecommunication company operates a system for detecting fraudulent calls from cell phones. The system is required to monitor call events and watch for unusual activity such as cell-phone cloning (duplicating another cell phone’s connection signature).

Shadowbase Solution: Asymmetric Capacity Expansions

  • The first step is to provide a database of cell phone accounts and call events in a Master Fraud Database, which is an intensive transaction-processing application.
  • Complex fraud queries have to be run in real-time against the call events in this database, and those results have to be returned to the Master Fraud Application.
  • To offload query processing from the system that was recording call events, the company uses an asymmetric capacity expansion configuration.
  • A master HPE NonStop Server node records all of the call events and replicates them to multiple query nodes.
  • Fraud detection queries are then run by these nodes against the call events to detect unusual call activity.
  • If suspected fraudulent activity is detected, the Master Fraud System is notified so that it can take appropriate action.
  • The query nodes support a Customer Call Center that can handle customer calls concerning actions as a result of suspected fraudulent activity.

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The above was adapted from the book: Breaking the Availability Barrier, Volume III: Active/Active Systems in Practice by Paul J. Holenstein, Dr. Bruce Holenstein, and Dr. Bill Highleyman.