Predictability of Process Resource Usage: A Measurement-Based Study on UNIX

Murthy V. Devarakonda, Ravishankar K. Iyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


This paper develops a statistical approach for predicting the CPU time, the file I/O, and the memory requirements of a program at the beginning of its life, given the identity of the program. Initially, statistical clustering is used to identify high-density regions of process resource usage. The identified regions form the states for building a state-transition model to characterize the resource usage of each program in its past executions. The prediction scheme uses the knowledge of the program's resource usage in its last execution together with its state-transition model to predict the resource usage in its next execution. The prediction scheme is shown to work using process resource-usage data collected from a VAX 11/780 running 4.3 BSD UNIX. The results show that the predicted values correlate strongly with the actual; the coefficient of correlation between the predicted and actual values for CPU time is 0.84. The errors in prediction are mostly small and are heavily skewed toward small values.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1579-1586
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Software Engineering
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software


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