Log-based software monitoring: A systematic mapping study

Jeanderson Cândido, Maurício Aniche, Arie van Deursen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
86 Downloads (Pure)


Modern software development and operations rely on monitoring to understand how systems behave in production. The data provided by application logs and runtime environment are essential to detect and diagnose undesired behavior and improve system reliability. However, despite the rich ecosystem around industry- ready log solutions, monitoring complex systems and getting insights from log data remains a challenge. Researchers and practitioners have been actively working to address several challenges related to logs, e.g., how to effectively provide better tooling support for logging decisions to developers, how to effectively process and store log data, and how to extract insights from log data. A holistic view of the research effort on logging practices and automated log analysis is key to provide directions and disseminate the state-of-the-art for technology transfer. In this paper, we study 108 papers (72 research track papers, 24 journals, and 12 industry track papers) from different communities (e.g., machine learning, software engineering, and systems) and structure the research field in light of the life-cycle of log data. Our analysis shows that (1) logging is challenging not only in open-source projects but also in industry, (2) machine learning is a promising approach to enable a contextual analysis of source code for log recommendation but further investigation is required to assess the usability of those tools in practice, (3) few studies approached efficient persistence of log data, and (4) there are open opportunities to analyze application logs and to evaluate state-of-the-art log analysis techniques in a DevOps context.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-38
Number of pages38
JournalPeerJ Computer Science
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • DevOps
  • Log analysis
  • Log infrastructure
  • Logging practices
  • Monitoring


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