Reverse Engineering Utility Functions using Genetic Programming to Detect Anomalous Behavior in Software

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Executive Summary

Recent studies have shown the promise of using utility functions to detect anomalous behavior in software systems at runtime. However, it remains a challenge for software engineers to hand-craft a utility function that achieves both a high precision (i.e., few false alarms) and a high recall (i.e., few undetected faults). This paper describes a technique that uses genetic programming to automatically evolve a utility function for a specific system, set of resource usage metrics, and precision/recall preference. These metrics are computed using sensor values that monitor a variety of system resources (e.g., memory usage, processor usage, thread count). The technique allows users to specify the relative importance of precision and recall, and builds a utility function to meet those requirements.

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