A Methodology for Detection and Estimation of Software Aging (1998)

Author(s): Garg S, van Moorsel A, Vaidyanathan K, Trivedi KS

    Abstract: The phenomenon of software aging refers to the accumulation of errors during the execution of the software which eventually results in it's crash/hang failure. A gradual performance degradation may also accompany software aging. Pro-active fault management techniques such as “software rejuvenation” (Y. Huang et al., 1995) may be used to counteract aging if it exists. We propose a methodology for detection and estimation of aging in the UNIX operating system. First, we present the design and implementation of an SNMP based, distributed monitoring tool used to collect operating system resource usage and system activity data at regular intervals, from networked UNIX workstations. Statistical trend detection techniques are applied to this data to detect/validate the existence of aging. For quantifying the effect of aging in operating system resources, we propose a metric: “estimated time to exhaustion”, which is calculated using well known slope estimation techniques. Although the distributed data collection tool is specific to UNIX, the statistical techniques can be used for detection and estimation of aging in other software as well.

    Notes: Also Bell Labs Research Technical Memorandum BL011356-980116-02, Jan. 1998.

      • Date: 4-7 November 1998
      • Conference Name: Ninth International Symposium on Software Reliability Engineering, November 4-7, 1998, Paderborn, Germany
      • Pages: 283-292
      • Publisher: IEEE Computer Society
      • Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. abstract)
      • Bibliographic status: Published

      Professor Aad van Moorsel
      Head of School, Professor