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Thesis defences

PhD Oral Exam - Jinfu Chen, Computer Science

Performance Regression Detection in DevOps

Wednesday, November 25, 2020 (all day)

This event is free


School of Graduate Studies


Daniela Ferrer


On line

When studying for a doctoral degree (PhD), candidates submit a thesis that provides a critical review of the current state of knowledge of the thesis subject as well as the student’s own contributions to the subject. The distinguishing criterion of doctoral graduate research is a significant and original contribution to knowledge.

Once accepted, the candidate presents the thesis orally. This oral exam is open to the public.


Performance is an important aspect of software quality. The goals of performance are typically defined by setting upper and lower bounds for response time and throughput of a system and physical level measurements such as CPU, memory and I/O. To meet such performance goals, several performance-related activities are needed in development (Dev) and operations (Ops). In fact, large software system failures are often due to performance issues rather than functional bugs. One of the most important performance issues is performance regression. Although performance regressions are not all bugs, they often have a direct impact on users' experience of the system. The process of detection of performance regressions in development and operations is faced with challenges. First, the detection of performance regression is conducted after the fact, i.e., after the system is built and deployed in the field or dedicated performance testing environments. Large amounts of resources are required to detect, locate, understand and fix performance regressions at such a late stage in the development cycle. Second, even we can detect a performance regression, it is extremely hard to fix it because other changes are applied to the system after the introduction of the regression. These challenges call for further in-depth analyses of the performance regression. In this thesis, to avoid performance regression slipping into operation, we first perform an exploratory study on the source code changes that introduce performance regressions in order to understand root-causes of performance regression in the source code level. Second, we propose an approach that automatically predicts whether a test would manifest performance regressions in a code commit. To assist practitioners to analyze system performance with operational data, we propose an approach to recovering field-representative workload that can be used to detect performance regression. We also propose an approach that predicts whether a configuration option manifests performance variation issue.

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