The Effectiveness of Cache Coherence Implemented on the Web
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The popularity of the World Wide Web (Web) has generated so much network traffic that it has increased concerns as to how the Internet will scale to meet future demand. The increased population of users and the large size of files being transmitted have resulted in concerns for different types of Internet users. Server administrators want a manageable load on their servers. Network administrators need to eliminate unnecessary traffic, thereby allowing more bandwidth for useful information. End users desire faster document retrieval. Proxy caches decrease the number of messages that enter the network by satisfying requests before they reach the server. However, the use of proxies introduces a concern with how to maintain consistency among cached document versions. Existing consistency protocols used in the Web are proving to be insufficient to meet the growing needs of the World Wide Web population. For example, too many messages are due to caches guessing when their copy is inconsistent. One option is to apply the cache coherence strategies already in use for many other distributed systems, such as parallel computers. However, these methods are not satisfactory for the World Wide Web due to its larger size and range of users. This paper provides insight into the characteristics of document popularity and how often these popular documents change. The frequency of proxy accesses to documents is also studied to test the feasibility of providing coherence at the server. The main goal is to determine whether server invalidation is the most effective protocol to use on the Web today. We make recommendations based on how frequently documents change and are accessed.