Perceptual Evaluation of Web Browsing

The World Wide Web is still among the most prominent Internet applications. While the Web landscape has been in perpetual movement since the very beginning, these last few years have witnessed some noteworthy proposals such as SPDY, HTTP/2 and QUIC which could disrupt the Web status quo and profoundly reshape the protocols family at application layer. We're working toward the definition and assessment of objective metrics (such as SpeedIndex, Above-The-Fold and variants) related to quality of user experience [ATF-17],[SIGCOMM-QoE-16],[INFOCOM-IC-16],[GLOBECOM-03] and on gathering subjective user feedback [PAM-17]. In all cases, we make our code and dataset available below!

In particular we propose in [SIGCOMM-QoE-16] two replacement metrics for Google's SpeedIndex, namely ObjectIndex and ByteIndex, that are structurally similar to the SpeedIndex but tremendously simpler to compute. In a nutshell we argue that, to some extent, the objects (or bytes) that are received by the browser (or the network card) can provide a first approximation of the visual completeness of the rendering process. We test SpeedIndex, ObjectIndex and ByteIndex (along with other metrics) on the Alexa top-100 dataset, finding high levels of correlation among these metrics as shown in the arc diagram (if interested, check [SIGCOMM-QoE-16]). In [PAM-17], we additionally collect subjective MOS metrics to contrast HTTP/1.1 vs HTTP/2 from a user viewpoint.

Arguing for limitations of SpeedIndex match to faithfully represent user QoE, more recently we proposed [ATF-17] a simple way to approximate Google's Above-the-Fold (ATF) time. By coupling the ATF knowledge to refine the SpeedIndex and ByteIndex-like metrics, to gather a closer match of user quality of experience measured with subjective tests [ATF-17]. As usual, all our code (chrome plugin), dataset (9,000 MOS points) are available as open source to the community -- don't hesitate to grab them below!



  • We have designed and implemented an approximation of Google's Above-the-Fold (ATF) metric.
    • you can find a description of the approximation in [ATF-17] along with a thorough testing against ITU-T and IQX models, and data-driven models built on the dataset using standard machine-learning techniques
    • the code, from which a screenshot is shown above, is available above on GitHub


  • We have been collecting more MOS points, and plan to release two datasets soon:
  • We have released the dataset of our [PAM-17] paper, accounting for over 4,000 MOS points:
    • [466KB compressed, 24MB raw] webmos-pam17.arff.gz (46 downloads, md5sum: ff286e98d3d9bc6524ef3929928044eb)
    • a more detailed (ugly) description of the dataset is available in the [DIRECTORSCUT-16] technical report (however shall you use the dataset please cite [PAM-17], thanks!)
  • Here you can download the datasets of our [SIGCOMM-QoE-16] paper


  1. [ATF-17] Diego Neves da Hora, Alemnew Sheferaw Asrese, Vassilis Christophides, Renata Teixeira and Dario Rossi, Narrowing the gap between QoS metrics andWeb QoE using Above-the-fold metrics ., October 2017.
  2. [PAM-17] Bocchi, Enrico, De Cicco, Luca, Mellia, Marco and Rossi, Dario, The Web, the Users, and the MOS: Influence of HTTP/2 on User Experience . In Passive and Active Measurements, Apr 2017.
  3. [SIGCOMM-QoE-16] Bocchi, Enrico, De Cicco, Luca and Rossi, Dario, Measuring the Quality of Experience of Web users . In ACM SIGCOMM Workshop on QoE-based Analysis and Management of Data Communication Networks (Internet-QoE 2016), selected as best paper in the workshop for reprint in ACM SIGCOMM Comput. Commun. Rev. , August 2016.
  4. [DIRECTORSCUT-16] Bocchi, Enrico, De Cicco, Luca, Mellia, Marco and Rossi, Dario, HTTP/2 vs the Users: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (Director's Cut) . In Technical Report, April 2016.
  5. [INFOCOM-IC-16] Bocchi, Enrico, De Cicco, Luca and Rossi, Dario, Web QoE: Moving beyond Google's SpeedIndex . In Finalist at the IEEE INFOCOM Innovation Challenge,, April 2016.
  6. [GLOBECOM-03] D. Rossi, C. Casetti and M. Mellia, User Patience and the Web: a Hands-on Investigation . In IEEE Globecom'03, San Francisco, CA, USA, December 2003.