Watchtower: Fast, Secure Mobile Page Loads Using Remote Dependency Resolution

Ravi Netravali, Anirudh Sivaraman, James Mickens, Hari Balakrishnan
17th Annual International Conference on Mobile Systems, Applications, and Services (MobiSys), Seoul, South Korea, June 2019

Remote dependency resolution (RDR) is a proxy-driven scheme for reducing mobile page load times; a proxy loads a requested page using a local browser, fetching the page's resources over fast proxy-origin links instead of a client's slow last-mile links. In this paper, we describe two fundamental challenges to efficient RDR proxying: the increasing popularity of encrypted HTTPS content, and the fact that, due to time-dependent network conditions and page properties, RDR proxying can actually increase load times. We solve these problems by introducing a new, secure proxying scheme for HTTPS traffic, and by implementing WatchTower, a selective proxying system that uses dynamic models of network conditions and page structures to only enable RDR when it is predicted to help. WatchTower loads pages 21.2%-41.3% faster than state-of-the-art proxies and server push systems, while preserving end-to-end HTTPS security.

[PDF (0KB)]

Bibtex Entry:

@inproceedings{netravali2019watchtower,
   author =       "Ravi Netravali and Anirudh Sivaraman and James Mickens and Hari Balakrishnan",
   title =        "{Watchtower: Fast, Secure Mobile Page Loads Using Remote Dependency Resolution}",
   booktitle =    {17th Annual International Conference on Mobile Systems, Applications, and Services (MobiSys)},
   year =         {2019},
   month =        {June},
   address =      {Seoul, South Korea}
}