New ‘GreenWeb’ tools aim to create an energy-efficient web
Science Daily, June 16, 2016
To help mobile device users maximize their limited battery storage, electrical and computer engineering professor Vijay Janapa Reddi and graduate student Yuhao Zhu have developed what they are calling “GreenWeb,” a set of web programming language extensions that enable web developers to have more flexibility and control than ever before over the energy consumption of a website.
The researchers have made the framework available to the public at WattWiseWeb.org, and they are presenting it at the ACM SIGPLAN Conference on Programming Language Design and Implementation (PLDI) on June 15 in Santa Barbara, California. Their peer-reviewed paper on GreenWeb is also published in the PLDI 2016 journal.
Because user awareness is constantly increasing, web developers today must be conscious of energy efficiency, Janapa Reddi said. However, current web language standards provide developers little to no control over device energy use. We’ve taken an important step toward language-level research to enable energy-efficient mobile web computing.
The researchers integrated GreenWeb into Google Chrome and reported energy savings of 30 to 66 percent over Android’s default mode. Mobile device users spend nearly two-thirds of their time browsing the web, so that amount of energy savings could result in a 20 to 40 percent battery life extension.
The web’s energy demands have big implications in the digital economy. Poor energy behavior is a top reason that mobile users give negative app reviews, and 55 percent of mobile users say they would delete an app for heavy battery usage, according to an independent survey by market research company Instantly. Additionally, high energy requirements of a website or app could lead to processor performance throttling, which in turn leads to slower webpage load times, resulting in lost traffic or consumers and lost revenue.