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Web Pages Get Load Speed Boost from MIT

Web Pages Get Load Speed Boost from MIT
While internet speeds are increasing, complex web pages can take what seems like forever to load, until now.

"It can take up to 100 milliseconds each time a browser has to cross a mobile network to fetch a piece of data. As pages increase in complexity, they often require multiple trips that create delays that really add up," explained MIT PhD student Ravi Netravali. "Our approach minimizes the number of round trips so that we can substantially speed up a page's load-time." Researchers from MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and Harvard University have developed this new approach which promises to decrease page-load times by 34 percent.

Dubbed Polaris, this technique focuses on mapping the connections, or dependencies, between objects on a web page in order to figure out the most efficient loading route. "What prior tools have done with their dependency graphs between the objects on the page is made them with respect to how browsers today load the pages," said Netravali, a tactic that "doesn't actually capture the real dependencies between these objects." Instead, Polaris tracks how the objects interact at a finer granularity, allowing objects without dependencies to load alongside each other. Polaris is written in JavaScript, but needs to be installed on the server and uses a tool called Scout to create its dependency graphs. Polaris will be presented later this week at the USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation. MIT says that it plans to "eventually" open source Polaris but for now, it hopes the technology is adopted by commercial browsers.

Photo: © iStock.
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