Scalable and interactive visual analysis of financial wire transactions for fraud detection

Remco Chang, Alvin Lee, Mohammad Ghoniem, Robert Kosara, William Ribarsky, Jing Yang, Evan Suma, Caroline Ziemkiewicz, Daniel Kern, Agus Sudjianto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Large financial institutions such as Bank of America handle hundreds of thousands of wire transactions per day. Although most transactions are legitimate, these institutions have legal and financial obligations to discover those that are suspicious. With the methods of fraudulent activities ever changing, searching on predefined patterns is often insufficient in detecting previously undiscovered methods. In this paper, we present a set of coordinated visualizations based on identifying specific keywords within the wire transactions. The different views used in our system depict relationships among keywords and accounts over time. Furthermore, we introduce a search-by-example technique, which extracts accounts that show similar transaction patterns. Our system can be connected to a database to handle millions of transactions and still preserve high interactivity. In collaboration with the Anti-Money Laundering division at Bank of America, we demonstrate that using our tool, investigators are able to detect accounts and transactions that exhibit suspicious behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-76
Number of pages14
JournalInformation Visualization
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Categorial and time-varying data
  • Financial data visualization
  • Fraud detection
  • Visual analytics

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