Google Research

A Case for Task Sampling based Learning for Cluster Job Scheduling

  • Akshay Jajoo
  • Nan Deng
  • Xiaojun Lin
  • Y. Charlie Hu
NSDI (2022)


The ability to accurately estimate job runtime properties allows a scheduler to effectively schedule jobs. State-of-theart online cluster job schedulers use history-based learning, which uses past job execution information to estimate the runtime properties of newly arrived jobs. However, with fast-paced development in cluster technology (in both hardware and software) and changing user inputs, job runtime properties can change over time, which lead to inaccurate predictions.

In this paper, we explore the potential and limitation of real-time learning of job runtime properties, by proactively sampling and scheduling a small fraction of the tasks of each job. Such a task-sampling-based approach exploits the similarity among runtime properties of the tasks of the same job and is inherently immune to changing job behavior. Our analytical and experimental analysis of 3 production traces with different skew and job distribution shows that learning in space can be substantially more accurate. Our simulation and testbed evaluation on Azure of the two learning approaches anchored in a generic job scheduler using 3 production cluster job traces shows that despite its online overhead, learning in space reduces the average Job Completion Time (JCT) by 1.28×, 1.56×, and 1.32× compared to the prior-art historybased predictor. Finally, we show how sampling-based learning can be extended to schedule DAG jobs and achieve similar speedups over the prior-art history-based predictor.

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