A provider-side view of web search response time

Yingying Chen, Ratul Mahajan, Baskar Sridharan, Zhi Li Zhang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

34 Scopus citations

Abstract

Using a large Web search service as a case study, we highlight the challenges that modern Web services face in understanding and diagnosing the response time experienced by users. We show that search response time (SRT) varies widely over time and also exhibits counter-intuitive behavior. It is actually higher during off-peak hours, when the query load is lower, than during peak hours. To resolve this paradox and explain SRT variations in general, we develop an analysis framework that separates systemic variations due to periodic changes in service usage and anomalous variations due to unanticipated events such as failures and denial-of-service attacks. We find that systemic SRT variations are primarily caused by systemic changes in aggregate network characteristics, nature of user queries, and browser types. For instance, one reason for higher SRTs during off-peak hours is that during those hours a greater fraction of queries come from slower, mainly-residential networks. We also develop a technique that, by factoring out the impact of such variations, robustly detects and diagnoses performance anomalies in SRT. Deployment experience shows that our technique detects three times more true (operator-verified) anomalies than existing techniques.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the SIGCOMM 2013 and Best Papers of the Co-Located Workshops
Pages243-254
Number of pages12
Edition4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2013
EventAnnual Conference of the ACM Special Interest Group on Data Communication on the Applications, Technologies, Architectures, and Protocols for Computer Communication, ACM SIGCOMM 2013 - Hong Kong, China
Duration: Aug 12 2013Aug 16 2013

Publication series

NameComputer Communication Review
Number4
Volume43
ISSN (Print)0146-4833
ISSN (Electronic)1943-5819

Other

OtherAnnual Conference of the ACM Special Interest Group on Data Communication on the Applications, Technologies, Architectures, and Protocols for Computer Communication, ACM SIGCOMM 2013
Country/TerritoryChina
CityHong Kong
Period8/12/138/16/13

Keywords

  • anomaly detection and diagnosis
  • performance monitoring
  • search response time
  • web services

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