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Design, Implementation, and Evaluation of Duplicate Transfer Detection in HTTP

Mogul, Jeffrey C.; Chan, Yee Man; Kelly, Terence


Keyword(s): HTTP; aliasing; duplicate transfer detection

Abstract: Organizations use Web caches to avoid transferring the same data twice over the same path. Numerous studies have shown that forward proxy caches, in practice, incur miss rates of at least 50%. Traditional Web caches rely on the reuse of responses for given URLs. Previous analyses of real-world traces have revealed a complex relationship between URLs and reply payloads, and have shown that this complexity frequently causes redundant transfers to caches. For example, redundant transfers may result if a payload is aliased (accessed via different URLs), or if a resource rotates (alternates between different values), or if HTTP's cache revalidation mechanisms are not fully exploited. We implement and evaluate a technique known in the literature as Duplicate Transfer Detection (DTD), with which a Web cache can use digests to detect and potentially eliminate all redundant payload transfers. We show how HTTP can support DTD with few or no protocol changes, and how a DTD-enabled proxy cache can interoperate with unmodified existing origin servers and browsers, thereby permitting incremental deployment. We present both simulated and experimental results that quantify the benefits of DTD. Notes: To be published in and presented at the First Symposium on Network Systems Design and Implementation, 29-31 March 2004, San Francisco, CA

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