System Logs to Learn Error Predictors
Mitigating the impact of computer failure is possible if accurate failure predictions are provided. Resources, applications, and services can be scheduled around predicted failure and limit the impact. Such strategies are especially important for multi-computer systems, such as compute clusters, that experience a higher rate failure due to the large number of components. However providing accurate predictions with sufficient lead time remains a challenging problem. This paper describes a new spectrum-kernel Support Vector Machine (SVM) approach to predict failure events based on system log files. These files containmessages that represent a change of system state. While a single message in the file may not be sufficient for predicting failure, a sequence or pattern of messages may be. The approach described in this paper will use a sliding window (sub-sequence) of messages to predict the likelihood of failure. The a frequency representation of the message sub-sequences observed are then used as input to the SVM. The SVM then associates the messages to a class of failed or non-failed system. Experimental results using actual system log files from a Linux-based compute cluster indicate the proposed spectrum-kernel SVM approach has promise and can predict hard disk failure with an accuracy of 73% two days in advance. Keywords: Software maintenance · Data Mining · System Logs · Log analysis · Information Gain · Classification and Prediction of Defective Log Sequences
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