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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/26049

Title: HTTP/2 Prioritization and its Impact on Web Performance
Authors: Wijnants, Maarten
Marx, Robin
Quax, Peter
Lamotte, Wim
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: ACM
Citation: WWW '18 Proceedings of the 2018 World Wide Web Conference, ACM,p. 1755-1764
Abstract: Web performance is a hot topic, as many studies have shown a strong correlation between slow webpages and loss of revenue due to user dissatisfaction. Front and center in Page Load Time (PLT) optimization is the order in which resources are downloaded and processed. The new HTTP/2 specification includes dedicated resource prioritization provisions, to be used in tandem with resource multiplexing over a single, well-filled TCP connection. However, little is yet known about its application by browsers and its impact on page load performance. This article details an extensive survey of modern User Agent implementations, with the conclusion that the major vendors all approach HTTP/2 prioritization in widely different ways, from naive (Safari, IE, Edge) to complex (Chrome, Firefox). We investigate the performance effect of these discrepancies with a full-factorial experimental evaluation involving eight prioritization algorithms, two off-the-shelf User Agents, 40 realistic webpages, and five heterogeneous (emulated) network conditions. We find that in general the complex approaches yield the best results, while naive schemes can lead to over 25% slower median visual load times. Also, prioritization is found to matter most for heavy-weight pages. Finally, it is ascertained that achieving PLT optimizations via generic server-side HTTP/2 re-prioritization schemes is a non-trivial task and that their performance is influenced by the implementation intricacies of individual browsers.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/26049
Link to publication: https://speeder.edm.uhasselt.be/www18/files/h2priorities_mwijnants_www2018.pdf
DOI: 10.1145/3178876.3186181
ISBN: 9781450356398
Category: C1
Type: Proceedings Paper
Appears in Collections: Research publications

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