Patent number 8621437 is assigned to
The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present invention relates to techniques for determining performance metrics for financial software and for performing an associated remedial action to address performance problems.
"Businesses are increasingly relying on a wide variety of software applications to satisfy their regulatory and operational requirements. As the use of such software applications continues to grow, there is also an increasing need to determine software performance. More specifically, software performance can determine the quality of a user's experience and, thus, how likely the user is to continue using a particular application and/or to buy additional software or associated services.
"However, determining software performance can be difficult. One existing technique involves aggregating the times it takes to perform specific tasks in a software product. For example, the time taken to perform a specific task may be compared to a baseline value.
"Unfortunately, this technique does not determine an overall performance of the product. For example, the times associated with some tasks may decrease, while the times associated with other tasks may increase. Moreover, these increases or decreases may not be uniform for all the tasks.
"Additionally, it may not be possible to solve this problem by simply averaging out the percentage differences (relative to the baseline values) for all of the tasks and using the resulting value as a metric for the overall performance of the product. In particular, percentage differences may not provide an accurate metric for changes in overall performance. For example, the time to perform a first task may increase by 20% from 0.5 s to 0.6 s, and the time to perform a second task may increase by 5.5% from 180 s to 190 s. This example suggests that the changes associated with the first task result in a more significant degradation in overall performance than the changes associated with the second task. However, the change associated with the first task results in a 0.1 s delay (which is unlikely to be noticed by a user), while the change associated with the second task results in a 10 s delay (which is more likely to be noticed by the user).
"Moreover, even using absolute time differences may not provide an accurate metric for changes in overall system performance, because not all tasks are equal."
In addition to the background information obtained for this patent, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent: "One embodiment of the present invention provides a computer system that determines a performance metric. During operation, the computer system determines the performance metric for tasks performed by financial software during a time interval. This performance metric is based on a weighted summation of contributions from the tasks, and a given weight associated with a given task is based on a frequency of occurrence of the given task. Then, the computer system performs a remedial action to improve the determined performance metric during a subsequent time interval.
"In some embodiments, the given weight is based on an importance of the given task. For example, the importance may be: predetermined by a developer of the financial software; determined based on feedback provided by a user of the financial software; and/or predetermined or preselected by the user of the financial software.
"In some embodiments, the given weight is based on an execution time of the given task.
"In some embodiments, the computer system compares the determined performance metric to a baseline value (such as a value of the performance metric during one or more preceding time intervals), and the remedial action is performed if a difference between the performance metric and the baseline value exceeds a predetermined threshold.
"In some embodiments, the remedial action includes revising a subsequent release of the financial software. Note that the subsequent release may be configured to execute on a client (such as a client computer or a client in a client-server system) and/or on a server in the client-server system.
"In some embodiments, the remedial action includes dynamically modifying the financial software. For example, the dynamic modifying may involve selecting a predetermined technique to perform at least a subset of the tasks and/or enabling a subset of modules in the financial software. Moreover, the computer system may rebuild an executable based on the subset of modules.
"In some embodiments, the tasks include: saving an invoice, determining a profit/loss report, and/or determining a balance-sheet report.
"In some embodiments, the financial software includes: accounting software, payroll software, and/or income-tax software.
"Another embodiment provides a method including at least some of the above-described operations.
"Another embodiment provides a computer-program product for use in conjunction with the computer system."
URL and more information on this patent, see: Saeed, Umair. Weighted Performance Metrics for
Keywords for this news article include: Software,
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