Improving end-to-end performance of the web using server volumes and proxy filters

Edith Cohen, Balachander Krishnamurthy, Jennifer L. Rexford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


The rapid growth of the World Wide Web has caused serious performance degradation on the Internet. This paper offers an end-to-end approach to improving Web performance by collectively examining the Web components - clients, proxies, servers, and the network. Our goal is to reduce user-perceived latency and the number of TCP connections, improve cache coherency and cache replacement, and enable prefetching of resources that are likely to be accessed in the near future. In our scheme, server response messages include piggybacked information customized to the requesting proxy. Our enhancement to the existing request-response protocol does not require per-proxy state at a server, and a very small amount of transient per-server state at the proxy, and can be implemented without changes to HTTP 1.1. The server groups related resources into volumes (based on access patterns and the file system's directory structure) and applies a proxy-generated filter (indicating the type of information of interest to the proxy) to tailor the piggyback information. We present efficient data structures for constructing server volumes and applying proxy filters, and a transparent way to perform volume maintenance and piggyback generation at a router along the path between the proxy and the server. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our end-to-end approach by evaluating various volume construction and filtering techniques across a collection of large client and server logs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)241-253
Number of pages13
JournalComputer Communication Review
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Computer Networks and Communications


  • Caching
  • Coherency
  • Filters
  • Piggybacking
  • Prefetching
  • Volumes
  • Web


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