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Autonomic Computing, International Conference on (2004)
New York, New York
May 17, 2004 to May 18, 2004
ISBN: 0-7695-2114-2
pp: 36-43
Mike Chen , University of California at Berkeley
Alice X. Zheng , University of California at Berkeley
Jim Lloyd , eBay Inc.
Michael I. Jordan , University of California at Berkeley
Eric Brewer , University of California at Berkeley
We present a decision tree learning approach to diagnosing failures in large Internet sites. We record runtime properties of each request and apply automated machine learning and data mining techniques to identify the causes of failures. We train decision trees on the request traces from time periods in which user-visible failures are present. Paths through the tree are ranked according to their degree of correlation with failure, and nodes are merged according to the observed partial order of system components. We evaluate this approach using actual failures from eBay, and find that, among hundreds of potential causes, the algorithm successfully identifies 13 out of 14 true causes of failure, along with 2 false positives. We discuss some results in applying simplified decision trees on eBay?s production site for several months. In addition, we give a cost-benefit analysis of manual vs. automated diagnosis systems. Our contributions include the statistical learning approach, the adaptation of decision trees to the context of failure diagnosis, and the deployment and evaluation of our tools on a high-volume production service.

M. Chen, A. X. Zheng, M. I. Jordan, E. Brewer and J. Lloyd, "Failure Diagnosis Using Decision Trees," Autonomic Computing, International Conference on(ICAC), New York, New York, 2004, pp. 36-43.
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