Visualizing Request-flow Comparison to Aid Performance Diagnosis in Distributed SystemsCarnegie Mellon University Parallel Data Lab Technical Report CMU-PDL-13-104, April 2013. Supersedes CMU-PDL-12-102.
Raja R. Sambasivan, Ilari Shafer, Michelle L. Mazurek, Gregory R. Ganger
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Distributed systems are complex to develop and administer, and performance problem diagnosis is particularly challenging. When performance degrades, the problem might be in any of the system's many components or could be a result of poor interactions among them. Recent research eorts have created tools that automatically localize the problem to a small number of potential culprits, but eective visualizations are needed to help developers understand and explore their results. is paper compares side-by-side, di, and animation-based approaches for visualizing the results of one proven automated localization technique called request-ow comparison. Via a óä-person user study, which included real distributed systems developers, we identify the unique benets that each approach provides for dierent usage modes and problem types.
KEYWORDS: distributed systems, performance diagnosis, request-flow comparison, user study, visualization
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