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In this paper, we present an automatic classification framework combining appearance based features and hidden Markov models (HMM) to detect unusual events in image sequences. One characteristic of the classification task is that anomalies are rare. This reflects the situation in the quality control of industrial processes, where error events are scarce by nature. As an additional restriction, class labels are only available for the complete image sequence, since frame-wise manual scanning of the recorded sequences for anomalies is too expensive and should, therefore, be avoided. The proposed framework reduces the feature space dimension of the image sequences by employing subspace methods and encodes characteristic temporal dynamics using continuous hidden Markov models (CHMMs). The applied learning procedure is as follows. 1) A generative model for the regular sequences is trained (one-class learning). 2) The regular sequence model (RSM) is used to locate potentially unusual segments within error sequences by means of a change detection algorithm (outlier detection). 3) Unusual segments are used to expand the RSM to an error sequence model (ESM). The complexity of the ESM is controlled by means of the Bayesian Information Criterion (BIC). The likelihood ratio of the data given the ESM and the RSM is used for the classification decision. This ratio is close to one for sequences without error events and increases for sequences containing error events. Experimental results are presented for image sequences recorded from industrial laser welding processes. We demonstrate that the learning procedure can significantly reduce the user interaction and that sequences with error events can be found with a small false positive rate. It has also been shown that a modeling of the temporal dynamics is necessary to reach these low error rates.