Assessing Invariant Mining Techniques for Cloud-based Utility
Computing Systems

Likely system invariants model properties that hold in operating conditions of a computing system. Invariants may be mined offline from training datasets, or inferred during execution. Scientific work has shown that invariants’ mining techniques support several activities, including capacity planning and detection of failures, anomalies and violations of Service Level Agreements. However their practical application by operation engineers is still a challenge. We aim to fill this gap through an empirical analysis of three major techniques for mining invariants in cloud-based utility computing systems: clustering, association rules, and decision list. The experiments use independent datasets from real-world systems: a Google cluster, whose traces are publicly available, and a Software-as-a-Service platform used by various companies worldwide. We assess the techniques in two invariants’ applications, namely executions characterization and anomaly detection, using the metrics of coverage, recall and precision. A sensitivity analysis is performed. Experimental results allow inferring practical usage implications, showing that relatively few invariants characterize the majority of operating conditions, that precision and recall may drop significantly when trying to achieve a large coverage, and that techniques exhibit similar precision, though the supervised one a higher recall. Finally, we propose a general heuristic for selecting likely invariants from a dataset.

Reference IEEE paper:
“Assessing Invariant Mining Techniques for Cloud-based Utility Computing Systems”, IEEE Transactions on Services Computing 2017.

Unique ID -SBI1009


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