Improving Content and Service Distribution beyond Infrastructure Upgrades


The Internet has evolved into an essential platform for communication and access to information. However, this success also puts pressure on operators to improve performance and availability facing increasing user demands for content and services, by performing network upgrades or by moving resources closer to users. Despite these efforts, there are limits to infrastructure upgrades, ranging from technical aspects to economic decisions. In this dissertation, we approach the problem of how to provide improvements beyond these upgrades by focusing on the deployment of a new protocol and the applicability of approaches that complement and support infrastructures.

First, we provide a large-scale adoption study of HTTP/2 with a focus on Server Push, a new feature that promises web performance improvements. We find that it is only sparsely used and can even lead to human-perceivable negative effects, which we verify in a user study. Second, we analyze the influencing factors and present a new strategy for its use, which can achieve improvements. Third, we present an approach that enables users to connect to foreign access points in an authenticated and isolated way, to provide connectivity when other infrastructures, e.g., cellular networks, are unavailable. Finally, we present three systems for the distribution of content and services directly between devices, where infrastructure support is only required at setup or management phases. In summary, our contributions provide valuable insights and practical technical solutions that complement infrastructure-based improvements.

PhD Thesis, RWTH Aachen University
Torsten Zimmermann
Torsten Zimmermann
Engagement Manager