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Leveraging Website Popularity Differences to Identify Performance Anomalies

Giulio Grassi
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Renata Teixeira
Mark Crovella
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Web performance anomalies (e.g. time periods when metrics like page load time are abnormally high) have significant impact on user experience and revenues of web service providers. Existing methods to automatically detect web performance anomalies focus on popular websites (e.g. with tens of thousands of visits per minute). Across a wider diversity of websites, however, the number of visits per hour varies enormously, and some sites will only have few visits per hour. Low rates of visits create measurement gaps and noise that prevent the use of existing methods. This paper develops WMF, a web performance anomaly detection method applicable across a range of websites with highly variable measurement volume. To demonstrate our method, we leverage data from a website monitoring company, which allows us to leverage cross-site measurements. WMF uses matrix factorization to mine patterns that emerge from a subset of the websites to "fill in" missing data on other websites. Our validation using both a controlled website and synthetic anomalies shows that WMF's F1-score is more than double that of the state-of-the-art method. We then apply WMF to three months of web performance measurements to shed light on performance anomalies across a variety of 125 small to medium websites.
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hal-03109717 , version 1 (13-01-2021)



Giulio Grassi, Renata Teixeira, Chadi Barakat, Mark Crovella. Leveraging Website Popularity Differences to Identify Performance Anomalies. INFOCOM 2021 - IEEE International Conference on Computer Communications, May 2021, Vancouver / Virtual, Canada. ⟨10.1109/INFOCOM42981.2021.9488832⟩. ⟨hal-03109717⟩
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