Computer scientists at the world-famous Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed a system that can reliably make websites load 34% faster. As internet speeds have increased, websites have got more complex, leaving some pages sluggish and unresponsive. This is a problem for companies like Amazon, who say that for every one-second delay in loading time, their profits are cut by one per cent.
A team of researchers, working at the university’s Computer Science and Artifical Intelligence Laboratory, may have found the solution. Named Polaris, the system cuts load-times by determining the best way to ‘overlap’ the downloading of different parts of a webpage. When you visit a new page, your browser reaches across the internet to fetch ‘objects’ like pictures, videos, and HTML files. The browser then evaluates the objects and puts them on the page. However, some objects are dependent on others, and browsers can’t see all of these dependencies until they come across them.
Polaris works by tracking all of these relationships and dependencies between objects on the page and turning the information into a ‘dependency graph’ that can be interpreted by your browser. Polaris essentially gives the browser a roadmap of the page, with all the details of the best and quickest way to load it.