Even if you’re not planning to upgrade your Internet plan, webpages may soon start loading faster on your browser. Researchers have devised a new way of displaying content that shaves roughly one-third of the current loading time.
Researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory have devised a framework called Polaris that maps all secondary and tertiary download locations utilised by a webpage. This, they claim, facilitates more effective downloading, saving up to 34 percent of load time.
“It can take up to 100 milliseconds each time a browser has to cross a mobile network to fetch a piece of data,” says Ph.D student Ravi Netravali. “As pages increase in complexity, they often require multiple trips that create delays that really add up. Our approach minimises the number of round trips so that we can substantially speed up a page’s load-time.”
When you fire up a webpage on your browser, it reaches out to the network to fetch objects such asHTML files, and different scripts. The problem is that an element could be dependent on another element, and this dependency is not easily visible by HTML. This, in turn, slows down the loading time of a Web browser. “Browsers have to be conservative about the order in which they load objects, which tends to increase the number of cross-network trips and slow down the page load.”
This is where Polaris comes into play. It tracks all the interactions between objects, and then plots a dependency graph for all such interactions. The researchers noted that dependency trackers have existed before, but the parameters that Polaris utilises make it more efficient.