Rapid progress of networking technologies leads to an exponential growth in the number of unauthorized or malicious network actions. As a component of defense-in-depth, Network Intrusion Detection System (NIDS) has been expected to detect malicious behaviors. Currently, NIDSs are implemented by various classification techniques, but these techniques are not advanced enough to accurately detect complex or synthetic attacks, especially in the situation of facing massive high-dimensional data. Besides, the inherent defects of NIDSs, namely, high false alarm rate and low detection rate, have not been effectively solved. In order to solve these problems, data fusion (DF) has been applied into network intrusion detection and has achieved good results. However, the literature still lacks thorough analysis and evaluation on data fusion techniques in the field of intrusion detection. Therefore, it is necessary to conduct a comprehensive review on them. In this article, we focus on DF techniques for network intrusion detection and propose a specific definition to describe it. We review the recent advances of DF techniques and propose a series of criteria to compare their performance. Finally, based on the results of the literature review, a number of open issues and future research directions are proposed at the end of this work.
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