Alohamora: Reviving HTTP/2 push and preload by adapting policies on the fly

Nikhil Kansal, Murali Ramanujam, Ravi Netravali

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Despite their promise, HTTP/2's server push and preload features have seen minimal adoption. The reason is that the efficacy of a push/preload policy depends on subtle relationships between page content, browser state, device resources, and network conditions-static policies that generalize across environments remain elusive. We present Alohamora, a system that uses Reinforcement Learning to learn (and apply) the appropriate push/preload policy for a given page load based on inputs characterizing the page structure and execution environment. To ensure practical training despite the large number of pages served by a site and the massive space of potential policies to consider for a given page, Alohamora introduces several key innovations: a page clustering strategy that favorably balances push/preload insight extraction with the number of pages required for training, and a faithful page load simulator that can evaluate a policy in several milliseconds (compared to 10s of seconds with a real browser). Experiments across a wide range of pages and mobile environments (emulation and real-world) reveal that Alohamora accelerates page loads by 19-61%, provides 3.6-4× more benefits than recent push/preload systems, and properly adapts to never degrade performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 18th USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation, NSDI 2021
PublisherUSENIX Association
Pages269-284
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781939133212
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes
Event18th USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation, NSDI 2021 - Virtual, Online
Duration: Apr 12 2021Apr 14 2021

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 18th USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation, NSDI 2021

Conference

Conference18th USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation, NSDI 2021
CityVirtual, Online
Period4/12/214/14/21

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Control and Systems Engineering

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