Web content adaptation to improve server overload behavior

Tarek F. Abdelzaher, Nina Bhatti

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


This paper presents a study of Web content adaptation to improve server overload performance, as well as an implementation of a Web content adaptation software prototype. When the request rate on a Web server increases beyond server capacity, the server becomes overloaded and unresponsive. The TCP listen queue of the server's socket overflows exhibiting a drop-tail behavior. As a result, clients experience service outages. Since clients typically issue multiple requests over the duration of a session with the server, and since requests are dropped indiscriminately, all clients connecting to the server at overload are likely to experience connection failures, even though there may be enough capacity on the server to deliver all responses properly for a subset of clients. In this paper, we propose to resolve the overload problem by adapting delivered content to load conditions to alleviate overload. The premise is that successful delivery of a less resource intensive content under overload is more desirable to clients than connection rejection or failures. The paper suggests the feasibility of content adaptation from three different viewpoints; (a) potential for automating content adaptation with minimal involvement of the content provider, (b) ability to achieve sufficient savings in resource requirements by adapting present-day Web content while preserving adequate information, and (c) feasibility to apply content adaptation technology on the Web with no modification to existing Web servers, browsers or the HTTP protocol.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1563-1577
Number of pages15
JournalComputer Networks
Issue number11
StatePublished - May 17 1999
Externally publishedYes
EventThe WWW8: 8th International World Wide Web Conference - Toronto, Ont., Can
Duration: May 11 1999May 14 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications


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