Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Computer Science

First Advisor's Name

Tao Li

First Advisor's Committee Title



System monitoring, IT service, Service Optimization, System Logs, Log Mining

Date of Defense



Modern IT infrastructures are constructed by large scale computing systems and administered by IT service providers. Manually maintaining such large computing systems is costly and inefficient. Service providers often seek automatic or semi-automatic methodologies of detecting and resolving system issues to improve their service quality and efficiency. This dissertation investigates several data-driven approaches for assisting service providers in achieving this goal. The detailed problems studied by these approaches can be categorized into the three aspects in the service workflow: 1) preprocessing raw textual system logs to structural events; 2) refining monitoring configurations for eliminating false positives and false negatives; 3) improving the efficiency of system diagnosis on detected alerts. Solving these problems usually requires a huge amount of domain knowledge about the particular computing systems. The approaches investigated by this dissertation are developed based on event mining algorithms, which are able to automatically derive part of that knowledge from the historical system logs, events and tickets.

In particular, two textual clustering algorithms are developed for converting raw textual logs into system events. For refining the monitoring configuration, a rule based alert prediction algorithm is proposed for eliminating false alerts (false positives) without losing any real alert and a textual classification method is applied to identify the missing alerts (false negatives) from manual incident tickets. For system diagnosis, this dissertation presents an efficient algorithm for discovering the temporal dependencies between system events with corresponding time lags, which can help the administrators to determine the redundancies of deployed monitoring situations and dependencies of system components. To improve the efficiency of incident ticket resolving, several KNN-based algorithms that recommend relevant historical tickets with resolutions for incoming tickets are investigated. Finally, this dissertation offers a novel algorithm for searching similar textual event segments over large system logs that assists administrators to locate similar system behaviors in the logs. Extensive empirical evaluation on system logs, events and tickets from real IT infrastructures demonstrates the effectiveness and efficiency of the proposed approaches.


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Latex files and figures



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