The statistical properties of host load

Peter A. Dinda*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

16 Scopus citations


Understanding how host load changes over time is instrumental in predicting the execution time of tasks or jobs, such as in dynamic load balancing and distributed soft real-time systems.To improve this understanding, we collected week-long, 1 Hz resolution Unix load average traces on 38 different machines including production and research cluster machines, compute servers, and desktop workstations Separate sets of traces were collected at two different times of the year. The traces capture all of the dynamic load information available to user-level programs on these machines. We present a detailed statistical analysis of these traces here, including summary statistics, distributions, and time series analysis results. Two significant new results are that load is self-similar and that it displays epochal behavior. All of the traces exhibit a high degree of self similarity with Hurst parameters ranging from .63 to .97, strongly biased toward the top of that range. The traces also display epochal behavior in that the local frequency content of the load signal remains quite stable for long periods of time (150-450 seconds mean) and changes abruptly at epoch boundaries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationLanguages, Compilers, and Run-Time Systems for Scalable Computers - 4th International Workshop, LCR 1998, Selected Papers
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)3540651721, 9783540651727
StatePublished - 1998
Event4th International Workshop on Languages, Compilers, and Run-Time Systems for Scalable Computers, LCR 1998 - Pittsburgh, PA, United States
Duration: May 28 1998May 30 1998

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume1511 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Other4th International Workshop on Languages, Compilers, and Run-Time Systems for Scalable Computers, LCR 1998
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityPittsburgh, PA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science(all)


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