Re: prefetching attribute (WAS Re: two ideas...)

Zheng Wang (
Tue, 19 Dec 1995 10:13:45 +0000

> Under one set of theories, the user agent requests pages it feels are
> likely before the user actually "clicks" on the pages (the "fish
> search" work described at WWW3 being one example of how this would
> work). This allows the user to set preferences about what sorts of
> pages are likely to be wanted and works for pages with links to
> multiple sites; it may, however, lead to piggish behavior in which a
> user/user agent request lots of things they don't use, thus
> overloading the servers.

Since most long distance links are heavily loaded, aggressive prefetching
(e.g. preloading all possible next pages) does not really have much
benefits. The bandwidth wasting it causes may actually increase latency.

However, there are other kinds of prefetching that has little overhead.
For example, a prefetching scheme integrated with a calendar or ToDo list
manager which prefetching the documents that the users need to read
each morning when they start their web browsers ...