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9th Workshop on Hot Topics in Operating Systems (HotOS IX) — Abstract

Using Computers to Diagnose Computer Problems

Joshua A. Redstone, Michael M. Swift, and Brian N. Bershad, University of Washington


Although computers continue to improve in speed and functionality, they remain difficult to use. Problems frequently occur, and it is hard to find fixes or workarounds. This paper argues for the importance and feasibility of building a global-scale automated problem diagnosis system that captures the natural, although labor intensive, workflow of system diagnosis and repair. The system collects problem symptoms from users' desktops, rather than requiring users to describe their problems to primitive search engines, automatically searches global databases of problem symptoms and fixes, and also allows ordinary users to contribute accurate problem reports in a structured manner.
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Last changed: 24 July 2003 aw
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