John Heidemann / Papers / Analysis of HTTP Performance

Analysis of HTTP Performance
Joe Touch, John Heidemann and Katia Obraczka
USC/Information Sciences Institute


Joe Touch, John Heidemann and Katia Obraczka. Analysis of HTTP Performance. Technical Report 98-463. USC/Information Sciences Institute. [PDF] [alt PDF]


We discuss the performance effects of using per-transaction TCP connections for HTTP access, and the proposed optimizations of avoiding per-transaction re-connection and TCP slow-start restart overheads. We analyze the performance penalties of the interaction of HTTP and TCP. Our observations indicate that the proposed optimizations do not substantially affect Web access for the vast majority of users, who typically see end-to-end latencies of 100-250 ms and use low bandwidth lines. Under these conditions, there are only 1-2 packets in transit between the client and server, and the optimizations reduce the overall transaction time by only 11%. Rates over 200 Kbps are required in order to achieve at least a 50% reduction in transaction time, resulting in a user-noticeable performance enhancement.

Bibtex Citation

  author = {Touch, Joe and Heidemann, John and Obraczka, Katia},
  title = {Analysis of {HTTP} Performance},
  institution = {USC/Information Sciences Institute},
  year = {1998},
  sortdate = {1998-08-01},
  project = {lsam},
  jsubject = {www},
  type = {Research Report},
  number = {98-463},
  month = aug,
  note = {A revised version of a web page made public
                           in June 1996},
  location = {johnh: folder: lsam},
  url = {},
  psurl = {},
  pdfurl = {},
  htmlurl = {},
  myorganization = {USC/Information Sciences Institute},
  copyrightholder = {authors}
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