Today, a large percentage of the Internet population access the World Wide Web via low bandwidth modem connections. The users spend a lot of time impatiently waiting for web pages to come up on their browsers. New infrastructure to lessen the latency will not be available for some time. In the mean time anything that can reduce the latency over the existing infrastructure will be a big win. We have investigate the potential of prefetching between the low-bandwidth clients and caching proxies (called proxy-based pre-pushing) can be implemented in hiding the observed latency of the web over these low bandwidth connections.
Our results show that with perfect predictors proxy-based Web pre-pushing can reduce user observed latency by over 20%. Using a PPM compressor-based predictor, the latency can be reduced by nearly 10%. Thus, proxy-side pre-pushing is a promising technique that can have a considerable effect on user's Web surfing experience.
Much future work remains. We are planning to implement the pre-pushing scheme and measure the latency reduction in reality. We are also looking into ways to improve prediction accuracies for the proxies, including better predictors. Finally, we are investigating how the scheme might perform in high-latency high-bandwidth environments such as satellite transfers.