Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Computer Science


Evgenia Smirni


The complexity of computer systems affects the complexity of modeling techniques that can be used for their performance analysis. In this dissertation, we develop a set of techniques that are based on tractable analytic models and enable efficient performance analysis of computer systems. Our approach is three pronged: first, we propose new techniques to parameterize measurement data with Markovian-based stochastic processes that can be further used as input into queueing systems; second, we propose new methods to efficiently solve complex queueing models; and third, we use the proposed methods to evaluate the performance of clustered Web servers and propose new load balancing policies based on this analysis.;We devise two new techniques for fitting measurement data that exhibit high variability into Phase-type (PH) distributions. These techniques apply known fitting algorithms in a divide-and-conquer fashion. We evaluate the accuracy of our methods from both the statistics and the queueing systems perspective. In addition, we propose a new methodology for fitting measurement data that exhibit long-range dependence into Markovian Arrival Processes (MAPs).;We propose a new methodology, ETAQA, for the exact solution of M/G/1-type processes, (GI/M/1-type processes, and their intersection, i.e., quasi birth-death (QBD) processes. ETAQA computes an aggregate steady state probability distribution and a set of measures of interest. E TAQA is numerically stable and computationally superior to alternative solution methods. Apart from ETAQA, we propose a new methodology for the exact solution of a class of GI/G/1-type processes based on aggregation/decomposition.;Finally, we demonstrate the applicability of the proposed techniques by evaluating load balancing policies in clustered Web servers. We address the high variability in the service process of Web servers by dedicating the servers of a cluster to requests of similar sizes and propose new, content-aware load balancing policies. Detailed analysis shows that the proposed policies achieve high user-perceived performance and, by continuously adapting their scheduling parameters to the current workload characteristics, provide good performance under conditions of transient overload.



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