Worcester Polytechnic Institute Electronic Theses and Dissertations Collection

Title page for ETD etd-011909-150148

Document Typethesis
Author NameJanc, Artur Adam
TitleNetwork Performance Evaluation within the Web Browser Sandbox
DepartmentComputer Science
  • Craig Wills, Advisor
  • Mark Claypool, Reader
  • Keywords
  • network measurement
  • Web browsers
  • Date of Presentation/Defense2008-12-15
    Availability unrestricted


    With the rising popularity of Web-based applications, the Web browser platform is becoming the dominant environment in which users interact with Internet content. We investigate methods of discovering information about network performance characteristics through the use of the Web browser, requiring only minimal user participation (navigating to a Web page). We focus on the analysis of explicit and implicit network operations performed by the browser (JavaScript XMLHTTPRequest and HTML DOM object loading) as well as by the Flash plug-in to evaluate network performance characteristics of a connecting client. We analyze the results of a performance study, focusing on the relative differences and similarities between download, upload and round-trip time results obtained in different browsers. We evaluate the accuracy of browser events indicating incoming data, comparing their timing to information obtained from the network layer. We also discuss alternative applications of the developed techniques, including measuring packet reception variability in a simulated streaming protocol. Our results confirm that browser-based measurements closely correspond to those obtained using standard tools in most scenarios. Our analysis of implicit communication mechanisms suggests that it is possible to make enhancements to existing “speedtest” services by allowing them to reliably determine download throughput and round-trip time to arbitrary Internet hosts. We conclude that browser-based measurement using techniques developed in this work can be an important component of network performance studies.

  • artur-janc-msc-thesis.pdf

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