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Finding a “kneedle” in a haystack: Detecting knee points in system behavior

By Ville Satopää, Jeannie Albrecht, David Irwin and Barath Raghavan


Abstract—Computer systems often reach a point at which the relative cost to increase some tunable parameter is no longer worth the corresponding performance benefit. These “knees ” typically represent beneficial points that system designers have long selected to best balance inherent trade-offs. While prior work largely uses ad hoc, system-specific approaches to detect knees, we present Kneedle, a general approach to online and offline knee detection that is applicable to a wide range of systems. We define a knee formally for continuous functions using the mathematical concept of curvature and compare our definition against alternatives. We then evaluate Kneedle’s accuracy against existing algorithms on both synthetic and real data sets, and evaluate its performance in two different applications. I

Year: 2013
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