Be Conservative: Enhancing Failure Diagnosis with Proactive Logging

@inproceedings{Yuan2012BeCE,
  title={Be Conservative: Enhancing Failure Diagnosis with Proactive Logging},
  author={Ding Yuan and Soyeon Park and Peng Huang and Yang Liu and Michael Mihn-Jong Lee and Xiaoming Tang and Yuanyuan Zhou and Stefan Savage},
  booktitle={OSDI},
  year={2012}
}
When systems fail in the field, logged error or warning messages are frequently the only evidence available for assessing and diagnosing the underlying cause. Consequently, the efficacy of such logging--how often and how well error causes can be determined via postmortem log messages--is a matter of significant practical importance. However, there is little empirical data about how well existing logging practices work and how they can yet be improved. We describe a comprehensive study… CONTINUE READING

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Key Quantitative Results

  • We further mechanize this knowledge in a tool called Errlog, that proactively adds appropriate logging statements into source code while adding only 1.4% performance overhead.
  • Finally, using a controlled user study with 20 programmers, we demonstrate that the error messages inserted by Errlog can cut failure diagnosis time by 60.7%.

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