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Message type or message cluster extraction is an important task in the analysis of system logs in computer networks. Defining these message types automatically facilitates the automatic analysis of system logs. When the message types that exist in a log file are represented explicitly, they can form the basis for carrying out other automatic application log analysis tasks. In this paper, we introduce a novel algorithm for carrying out message type extraction from event log files. IPLoM, which stands for Iterative Partitioning Log Mining, works through a 4-step process. The first three steps hierarchically partition the event log into groups of event log messages or event clusters. In its fourth and final stage, IPLoM produces a message type description or line format for each of the message clusters. IPLoM is able to find clusters in data irrespective of the frequency of its instances in the data, it scales gracefully in the case of long message type patterns and produces message type descriptions at a level of abstraction, which is preferred by a human observer. Evaluations show that IPLoM outperforms similar algorithms statistically significantly.