This Article 
 Bibliographic References 
 Add to: 
WebCompanion: A Friendly Client-Side Web Prefetching Agent
July/August 1999 (vol. 11 no. 4)
pp. 577-594

Abstract—Accessing remote sites of the World Wide Web is often a frustrating experience for users because of long Web page retrieval times even over relatively fast Internet connections. Users are more likely to embrace the further expansion of the role of the Web into a major infrastructure for electronic commerce and for information, application, and multimedia delivery if Web accesses can be accelerated. One technique that attempts this is prefetching. We built a client-side Java-implemented prefetching agent, WebCompanion, which employs a novel adaptive, fast, and selective online prefetching strategy based on estimated round-trip times for Web resources. This strategy efficiently hides the access latencies for slow resources while at the same time limiting the network and server overhead and local resource consumption to moderate levels. Our extensive experiments show an average access speed-up of greater than 50 percent and an average network byte overhead of less than 150 percent using WebCompanion over a fast Internet connection. We measured a slight acceleration in accessing the Web through WebCompanion even in a pessimistic scenario where the user never requests a prefetched document.

[1] K.-i. Chinen and Suguru Yamaguchi, “An Interactive Prefetching Proxy Server for Improvement of WWW Latency,” Proc. Inet '97, June 1997.
[2] Connectix Corp., URL: .
[3] Kiss Software Corp., URL:http://www.kissco.comspeedsurfer.
[4] Peaksoft Corp., URL:http:/
[5] M. Crovella and A. Bestavros, “Self-Similarity in World Wide Web Traffic: Evidence and Causes,” Proc. ACM SIGMetrics Int'l Conf. Measurement and Modeling of Computer Systems, vol. 24, no. 1, ACM SIGMetrics Performance Evaluation Rev., pp. 160-169, 1996.
[6] C.R. Cunha and C.F.B. Jaccoud, Determining WWW User's Next Access and Its Application to Prefetching Proc. Int'l Symp. Computers and Comm., pp. 6-11, July 1997.
[7] B. Eickel, Thinking in Java, Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall PTR, 1998.
[8] S.D. Gribble and E.A. Brewer, “System Design Issues for Internet Middleware Services: Deductions from a Large Client Trace,” Proc. Usenix Symp Internet Technologies and Systems, pp. 207-218, Monterey, Calif., Dec. 1997.
[9] IMSI, URL: html .
[10] Go Ahead Software Inc., URL:
[11] W. Leland et al., "On the Self-Similar Nature of Ethernet Traffic (Extended Version)," IEEE/ACM Trans. Networking, Vol. 2, No. 1, Feb. 1994, pp. 1-15.
[12] T.S. Loon and V. Bharghavan, “Alleviating the Latency and Bandwidth Problems in WWW Browsing,” Proc. Usenix Symp. Internet Technologies and Systems, pp. 219-230, Monterey, Calif., Dec. 1997.
[13] V.N. Padmanabhan and J.C. Mogul, “Using Predictive Prefetching to Improve World-Wide Web Latency,” Proc. ACM SIGComm. '96, July 1996.
[14] P. Scheuermann, J. Shim, and R. Vingralek, “A Case for Delay-Conscious Caching of Web Documents,” Computer Networks and ISDN Systems, vol. 29, nos. 8-13, pp. 997-1005, Sept. 1997.
[15] Goto Software, URL:http:/
[16] J. Touch, Lowlat, 1997, URL:http://www.isi.edulowlat.
[17] S. Wachsberg, T. Kunz, and J. Wong, “Fast World-Wide Web Browsing Over Low-Bandwidth Links,” 1996, URL: .
[18] Z. Wang and J. Crowcroft, Prefetching in World Wide Web Proc. IEEE Global Internet Conf., pp. 28-32, Nov. 1996.
[19] World Wide Web Consortium, HTTP—Hypertext Transfer Protocol, 1998, URL:http://www.w3.orgProtocols.

Index Terms:
Caching, DNS caching, client-side prefetching, latency reduction, proxy, round-trip time estimation, World Wide Web.
Reinhard P. Klemm, "WebCompanion: A Friendly Client-Side Web Prefetching Agent," IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering, vol. 11, no. 4, pp. 577-594, July-Aug. 1999, doi:10.1109/69.790809
Usage of this product signifies your acceptance of the Terms of Use.