Dissertation Defense - University of Houston
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Dissertation Defense

In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

Levent Dane

will defend his dissertation

Web Application Performance Analysis with NetForager Geographically-Distributed Application Traffic Generator


Web applications constitute the majority of internet traffic today. These applications have been optimized for a desired level of user experience. Optimization of web applications towards a desired level of user experience requires extensive testing. A worldwide reliability guarantee and associated optimization measures pose a considerable challenge in such testing approaches. As a result, measurement of web application performance results in models that approximate the expected user experiences. In addition, the components of such a test, namely, client and server sides with the network state in the middle, each have immense amounts of configuration variations and associated requirements for performance guarantees. In this thesis, we tackled the analysis of web application performance through a novel measure that provides an indicator of consistency. We first defined a consistency metric. We conducted our research to demonstrate what constitutes a consistent performance on parameters of content length and loading time, along with other parameters specific to the application. We then applied an empirical methodology to measure the consistency of web application performance through an extensive data collection tool, NetForager. We developed this tool to collect repeatable web application performance data in the form of traffic packet captures at geographically distributed locations around the nation. The tool uses a framework with container technologies to orchestrate isolated web application data collection. The consistency metric for a representative set of web applications has been calculated along with an error margin. The content length and delay during the retrieval of the application data has been utilized for the calculations in order to achieve a holistic performance perspective. We present a consistency metric analysis for 15 web applications to reason about how optimizations and acceleration methods such as content delivery networks may provide superior application performance consistency. More importantly, our metric lays a foundation on holistic external testing of the application performance that can be agnostic to variations in end user clients, application service architecture and associated servers, and the network state.

Date: Wednesday, April 22, 2020
Time: 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Place: Online Presentation - Webex meeting
Advisor: Dr. Deniz Gurkan

Faculty, students, and the general public are invited.