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Email Classification Using Behavior and Time Features

Yeqin Shao,
Quan Shi,
Yanghua Xiao,
Nik Bessis,
Peter Norrington,


The various forms and tremendous number of spam emails have brought great challenges to accurate email classification. In this paper, we present a behavior- and time-feature-based email classification method. Based on email logs, email social networks are built through the extraction of entities and relations from the email records using the MapReduce model. By combining behavior features from social networks and time features from email sending intervals, we adopt a Support Vector Machine based classifier to identify spammers and nonspammers. Compared with the current email classification methods, the advantages of our method are: (1) in addition to the behavior-based features, our method integrates the time feature to facilitate email classification; (2) to efficiently handle the vast number of emails, we employ the MapReduce model to extract the behavior- and time-based features on the email social network. Experiments on real email data of three years show that the proposed method achieves better classification accuracy.


Social network; Email spam; Classification; Support vector machine

Citation Format:
Yeqin Shao, Quan Shi, Yanghua Xiao, Nik Bessis, Peter Norrington, "Email Classification Using Behavior and Time Features," Journal of Internet Technology, vol. 18, no. 3 , pp. 463-472, May. 2017.

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