Performance is a key factor for big data applications, and much research has been devoted to optimizing these applications. While prior work can diagnose and correct data skew, the problem of computation skew---abnormally high computation costs for a small subset of input data---has been largely overlooked. Computation skew commonly occurs in real-world applications and yet no tool is available for developers to pinpoint underlying causes. To enable a user to debug applications that exhibit computation skew, we develop a post-mortem performance debugging tool. PerfDebug automatically finds input records responsible for such abnormalities in a big data application by reasoning about deviations in performance metrics such as job execution time, garbage collection time, and serialization time. The key to PerfDebug's success is a data provenance-based technique that computes and propagates record-level computation latency to keep track of abnormally expensive records throughout the pipeline. Finally, the input records that have the largest latency contributions are presented to the user for bug fixing. We evaluate PerfDebug via in-depth case studies and observe that remediation such as removing the single most expensive record or simple code rewrite can achieve up to 16X performance improvement.
Influence-based provenance for dataflow applications with taint propagation
Debugging big data analytics often requires a root cause analysis to pinpoint the precise culprit records in an input dataset responsible for incorrect or anomalous output. Existing debugging or data provenance approaches do not track fine-grained control and data flows in user-defined application code; thus, the returned culprit data is often too large for manual inspection and expensive post-mortem analysis is required. We design FlowDebug to identify a highly precise set of input records based on two key insights. First, FlowDebug precisely tracks control and data flow within user-defined functions to propagate taints at a fine-grained level by inserting custom data abstractions through automated source to source transformation. Second, it introduces a novel notion of influence-based provenance for many-to-one dependencies to prioritize which input records are more responsible than others by analyzing the semantics of a user-defined function used for aggregation. By design, our approach does not require any modification to the framework's runtime and can be applied to existing applications easily. FlowDebug significantly improves the precision of debugging results by up to 99.9 percentage points and avoids repetitive re-runs required for post-mortem analysis by a factor of 33 while incurring an instrumentation overhead of 0.4X - 6.1X on vanilla Spark.
- Award ID(s):
- Publication Date:
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Journal Name:
- The 11th ACM Symposium on Cloud Computing (SoCC '20)
- Page Range or eLocation-ID:
- 372 to 386
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
More Like this
Developing Big Data Analytics often involves trial and error debugging, due to the unclean nature of datasets or wrong assumptions made about data. When errors (e.g. program crash, outlier results, etc.) arise, developers are often interested in pinpointing the root cause of errors. To address this problem, BigSift takes an Apache Spark program, a user-defined test oracle function, and a dataset as input and outputs a minimum set of input records that reproduces the same test failure by combining the insights from delta debugging with data provenance. The technical contribution of BigSift is the design of systems optimizations that bring automated debugging closer to a reality for data intensive scalable computing. BigSift exposes an interactive web interface where a user can monitor a big data analytics job running remotely on the cloud, write a user-defined test oracle function, and then trigger the automated debugging process. BigSift also provides a set of predefined test oracle functions, which can be used for explaining common types of anomalies in big data analytics--for example, finding the origin of the output value that is more than k standard deviations away from the median. The demonstration video is available at https://youtu.be/jdBsCd61a1Q.
Cybercrime scene reconstruction that aims to reconstruct a previous execution of the cyber attack delivery process is an important capability for cyber forensics (e.g., post mortem analysis of the cyber attack executions). Unfortunately, existing techniques such as log-based forensics or record-and-replay techniques are not suitable to handle complex and long-running modern applications for cybercrime scene reconstruction and post mortem forensic analysis. Specifically, log-based cyber forensics techniques often suffer from a lack of inspection capability and do not provide details of how the attack unfolded. Record-and-replay techniques impose significant runtime overhead, often require significant modifications on end-user systems, and demand to replay the entire recorded execution from the beginning. In this paper, we propose C2SR, a novel technique that can reconstruct an attack delivery chain (i.e., cybercrime scene) for post-mortem forensic analysis. It provides a highly desired capability: interactable partial execution reconstruction. In particular, it reproduces a partial execution of interest from a large execution trace of a long-running program. The reconstructed execution is also interactable, allowing forensic analysts to leverage debugging and analysis tools that did not exist on the recorded machine. The key intuition behind C2SR is partitioning an execution trace by resources and reproducing resource accesses that aremore »
Fault-isolation is extremely challenging in large scale data processing in cloud environments. Data provenance is a dominant existing approach to isolate data records responsible for a given output. However, data provenance concerns fault isolation only in the data-space, as opposed to fault isolation in the code-space---how can we precisely localize operations or APIs responsible for a given suspicious or incorrect result? We present OptDebug that identifies fault-inducing operations in a dataflow application using three insights. First, debugging is easier with a small-scale input than a large-scale input. So it uses data provenance to simplify the original input records to a smaller set leading to test failures and test successes. Second, keeping track of operation provenance is crucial for debugging. Thus, it leverages automated taint analysis to propagate the lineage of operations downstream with individual records. Lastly, each operation may contribute to test failures to a different degree. Thus OptDebug ranks each operation's spectra---the relative participation frequency in failing vs. passing tests. In our experiments, OptDebug achieves 100% recall and 86% precision in terms of detecting faulty operations and reduces the debugging time by 17x compared to a naïve approach. Overall, OptDebug shows great promise in improving developer productivity in today'smore »
Systematically reasoning about the fine-grained causes of events in a real-world distributed system is challenging. Causality, from the distributed systems literature, can be used to compute the causal history of an arbitrary event in a distributed system, but the event's causal history is an over-approximation of the true causes. Data provenance, from the database literature, precisely describes why a particular tuple appears in the output of a relational query, but data provenance is limited to the domain of static relational databases. In this paper, we present wat-provenance: a novel form of provenance that provides the benefits of causality and data provenance. Given an arbitrary state machine, wat-provenance describes why the state machine produces a particular output when given a particular input. This enables system developers to reason about the causes of events in real-world distributed systems. We observe that automatically extracting the wat-provenance of a state machine is often infeasible. Fortunately, many distributed systems components have simple interfaces from which a developer can directly specify wat-provenance using a technique we call wat-provenance specifications. Leveraging the theoretical foundations of wat-provenance, we implement a prototype distributed debugging framework called Watermelon.