Making JavaScript better by making it even slower

Maciej Swiech, Peter A Dinda

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

On mobile devices, such as smart phones and tablets, client-side JavaScript is a significant contributor to power consumption, and thus battery lifetime. We claim that this is partially due to JavaScript interpretation running faster than is necessary to maintain a satisfactory user experience, and we propose that JavaScript implementations include a user-configurable throttle. To evaluate our claim we developed a web proxy system, named JSSlow, that reduces power consumption by transcoding client-side JavaScript and injecting 'sleep' invocations. This can be done safely, even given JavaScript's single-threaded nature, through the use of continuation passing, and the proxy model requires neither server nor client-side changes. Using JSSlow we studied the 120 most popular sites and found that the technique could reduce power consumption by an average of 5% on Android phones. We also considered buggy code (52% reduction) and advertising (10% reduction). To evaluate the system's impact on the user experience, we conducted a user study consisting of interactive tasks the user carried out on. The perceived performance impact varies by user and site, with the variation being highest on the most interactive sites, such as games. This argues for making the throttle user-configurable in some cases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2013 IEEE 21st International Symposium on Modeling, Analysis and Simulation of Computer and Telecommunication, MASCOTS 2013
Pages70-79
Number of pages10
DOIs
StatePublished - 2013
Event2013 IEEE 21st International Symposium on Modeling, Analysis and Simulation of Computer and Telecommunication, MASCOTS 2013 - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: Aug 14 2013Aug 16 2013

Publication series

NameProceedings - IEEE Computer Society's Annual International Symposium on Modeling, Analysis, and Simulation of Computer and Telecommunications Systems, MASCOTS
ISSN (Print)1526-7539

Other

Other2013 IEEE 21st International Symposium on Modeling, Analysis and Simulation of Computer and Telecommunication, MASCOTS 2013
CountryUnited States
CitySan Francisco, CA
Period8/14/138/16/13

Keywords

  • Human Computer Interaction
  • Mobile Computing
  • Performance Evaluation
  • World Wide Web

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Software
  • Modeling and Simulation

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