System Ingests AT&T Network Logs to Reveal Root Cause of Errors

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Behind the easy connectivity that much of the world enjoys, commercial networks are hard at work establishing connections, authenticating users, and verifying services. When an error occurs, it can be hard for providers to pinpoint the root cause because an error message may be generated in a different spot within a network than the place where the actual error happened.

To hone in on the source of such errors, researchers have analyzed error logs related to millions of messages exchanged through AT&T’s network. The group’s aim was to learn about latent events in particular. Latency errors may cause delays in call propagation and transmission, disconnection issues, and network bottlenecks. Each error event can produce a sequence of messages whose type and frequency could vary based on the latency between the various network elements, network load, and other events.

“We have come up with a set of algorithms that can group the raw error data into events described by important keywords,” says Siddhartha Satpathi, a PhD candidate in electrical engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. “We are not identifying the cause of the events, we are simply separating the messages into groups, where each group consists of messages generated by a single event. Additionally, we identify the key messages which are associated with each event.” Then, a network operator can use these groupings to identify the root cause.

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