US20100281224A1 - Prefetching content from incoming messages - Google Patents

Prefetching content from incoming messages Download PDF

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US20100281224A1
US20100281224A1 US12/434,100 US43410009A US2010281224A1 US 20100281224 A1 US20100281224 A1 US 20100281224A1 US 43410009 A US43410009 A US 43410009A US 2010281224 A1 US2010281224 A1 US 2010281224A1
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content
cached
resource link
prefetched
resource
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US12/434,100
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Wesley Janming Ho
Jeffrey Kevin Price
Stanley Carroll Wood
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International Business Machines Corp
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International Business Machines Corp
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Priority to US12/434,100 priority Critical patent/US20100281224A1/en
Assigned to INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MACHINES CORPORATION reassignment INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MACHINES CORPORATION ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: HO, WESLEY J., PRICE, JEFFREY K., WOOD, STANLEY C.
Publication of US20100281224A1 publication Critical patent/US20100281224A1/en
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L67/00Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications
    • H04L67/28Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications for the provision of proxy services, e.g. intermediate processing or storage in the network
    • H04L67/2842Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications for the provision of proxy services, e.g. intermediate processing or storage in the network for storing data temporarily at an intermediate stage, e.g. caching
    • H04L67/2847Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications for the provision of proxy services, e.g. intermediate processing or storage in the network for storing data temporarily at an intermediate stage, e.g. caching involving pre-fetching or pre-delivering data based on network characteristics
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    • G06F12/08Addressing or allocation; Relocation in hierarchically structured memory systems, e.g. virtual memory systems
    • G06F12/0802Addressing of a memory level in which the access to the desired data or data block requires associative addressing means, e.g. caches
    • G06F12/0862Addressing of a memory level in which the access to the desired data or data block requires associative addressing means, e.g. caches with prefetch
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F15/00Digital computers in general; Data processing equipment in general
    • G06F15/16Combinations of two or more digital computers each having at least an arithmetic unit, a program unit and a register, e.g. for a simultaneous processing of several programs
    • G06F15/163Interprocessor communication
    • G06F15/167Interprocessor communication using a common memory, e.g. mailbox
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F16/00Information retrieval; Database structures therefor; File system structures therefor
    • G06F16/90Details of database functions independent of the retrieved data types
    • G06F16/95Retrieval from the web
    • G06F16/957Browsing optimisation, e.g. caching or content distillation
    • G06F16/9574Browsing optimisation, e.g. caching or content distillation of access to content, e.g. by caching
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q10/00Administration; Management
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L51/00Arrangements for user-to-user messaging in packet-switching networks, e.g. e-mail or instant messages
    • H04L51/08Messages including annexed information, e.g. attachments
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L51/00Arrangements for user-to-user messaging in packet-switching networks, e.g. e-mail or instant messages
    • H04L51/18Messages including commands or codes to be executed either at an intermediate node or at the recipient to perform message-related actions
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    • G06F2212/15Use in a specific computing environment
    • G06F2212/154Networked environment
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    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F2212/00Indexing scheme relating to accessing, addressing or allocation within memory systems or architectures
    • G06F2212/60Details of cache memory
    • G06F2212/602Details relating to cache prefetching
    • GPHYSICS
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    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F2212/00Indexing scheme relating to accessing, addressing or allocation within memory systems or architectures
    • G06F2212/62Details of cache specific to multiprocessor cache arrangements
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04WWIRELESS COMMUNICATION NETWORKS
    • H04W4/00Services specially adapted for wireless communication networks; Facilities therefor
    • H04W4/12Messaging; Mailboxes; Announcements

Abstract

A method, system, and computer program product for prefetching content from incoming messages. A computer receives an incoming message containing one or more resource links. The computer may then determine if the resource links contained in the incoming message are likely to be accessed. In response to determining that one or more of the resource links are likely to be accessed, the logic determines if the target content of the resource link has previously been cached, and if any previously cached data is current. In response to determining that the requested content has not previously been cached, or is not current, the logic begins downloading the requested content for local consumption. When the cached content is requested, the cached data is provided to the user. Upon receiving requests for the cached content from other connected client terminals, the cached content may also be served to the other requesting client terminals.

Description

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • 1. Technical Field
  • The present invention relates in general to computer systems, and in particular to electronic messaging systems. Still more particularly, the present invention relates to a system for prefetching content from incoming messages.
  • 2. Description of the Related Art
  • Computer users often receive email, instant messages, and other message types which links to remotely stored content. The referenced content may include large files to download, new articles, and multimedia content, for example. In one instance, senders may transmit large files by storing the files on a network server and sending a resource link in an email or instant message to bypass size constraints on email and instant message sizes.
  • After eventually clicking a resource links, users may be required to wait for a considerable amount of time while the actual content downloads. This is especially true if the user is mobile and connecting via a wireless connection with limited bandwidth and/or a slower connection speed. Additionally, a same resource link may be sent to multiple users with each user selecting to download a same content. This wastes bandwidth as several computers are simultaneously downloading the same content from a remote location. Furthermore, if the user is processing electronic mail while in a disconnected mode, the referenced content may not be available at all.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • Disclosed is a method, system, and computer program product for prefetching content from incoming messages. A computer receives an incoming message containing one or more resource links. The computer may then determine if the resource links contained in the incoming message are likely to be accessed. In response to determining that one or more of the resource links are likely to be accessed, the logic determines if the target content of the resource link has previously been cached, and if any previously cached data is current. In response to determining that the requested content has not previously been cached, or is not current, the logic begins downloading the requested content for local consumption by the user. When the cached content is requested, the cached data is provided to the user. Upon receiving requests for the cached content from other connected client terminals, the cached content may also be served to the other requesting client terminals.
  • The above as well as additional objectives, features, and advantages of the present invention will become apparent in the following detailed written description.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • The novel features believed characteristic of the invention are set forth in the appended claims. The invention itself, however, will best be understood by reference to the following detailed descriptions of an illustrative embodiment when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:
  • FIG. 1 is a block diagram of a computing device in which the present invention may be implemented.
  • FIG. 2 is a block diagram of an exemplary system for prefetching content from incoming messages on a computer.
  • FIG. 3 is a diagram of an exemplary system for prefetching content from incoming messages on a proxy server.
  • FIG. 4 is a high-level logical flowchart of an exemplary method for prefetching content from incoming messages.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
  • The illustrative embodiments provide a method, system, and computer program product for prefetching content linked in an incoming message.
  • In the following detailed description of exemplary embodiments of the invention, specific exemplary embodiments in which the invention may be practiced are described in sufficient detail to enable those skilled in the art to practice the invention, and it is to be understood that other embodiments may be utilized and that logical, architectural, programmatic, mechanical, electrical and other changes may be made without departing from the spirit or scope of the present invention. The following detailed description is, therefore, not to be taken in a limiting sense, and the scope of the present invention is defined only by the appended claims.
  • It is understood that the use of specific component, device and/or parameter names are for example only and not meant to imply any limitations on the invention. The invention may thus be implemented with different nomenclature/terminology utilized to describe the components/devices/parameters herein, without limitation. Each term utilized herein is to be given its broadest interpretation given the context in which that term is utilized.
  • With reference now to FIG. 1, there is depicted a block diagram of a computing device in which the present invention may be implemented. Computer 102 includes a processor 104 that is coupled to a system bus 106. A transceiver 110, connected to system bus 106, enables Computer 102 to connect to network 142, an internet 144, and client terminals 302 a-n via wired or wireless mechanisms. System bus 106 also affords communication with a hardware-based readable storage medium 112 (e.g., Compact Disk-Read Only Memory (CD-ROM), flash drive memory, etc). Input/Output (I/O) Interface 114, also connected to system bus 106, permits user interaction with Computer 102, such as data entry via keyboard 116 or Mouse 117. Display 118 enables the viewing of content and a general user interface (including text and graphics) for use by a user of Computer 102.
  • Computer 102 also comprises system storage 124, which is connected to system bus 106. System Storage 124 comprises prefetch cache data 126 and preferences 128. Preferences 128 may contain prefetch history information and user defined preferences for prefetching content linked in an incoming message
  • Computer 102 also comprises system memory 118, which is connected to system bus 106. As shown, system memory 118 also comprises prefetch logic 120, web browser 150, email client 151, instant messaging client 153, prefetch plug-ins 154 a-n, and operating system 155. Prefetch logic 120 includes code for implementing the processes described in FIGS. 2-5. In one embodiment, Prefetch logic 120 may directly integrate with email client 151 and instant messaging client 153 by an installed prefetch plug-in 154 a-n. In an alternate embodiment, prefetch logic 120 may be integrated at an operating system level. In one embodiment, Computer 102 is able to utilize prefetch logic 120 to prefetch resource link content of an incoming message, as described in greater detail below in FIGS. 2-4.
  • As illustrated and described herein, Computer 102 may be any computing device having the required hardware components and programmed with prefetch logic 120, executing on the processor to provide the functionality of the invention. The hardware elements depicted in Computer 102 are not intended to be exhaustive, but rather are representative to highlight essential components required by and/or utilized to implement the present invention. For instance, Computer 102 may include alternate memory storage devices such as magnetic cassettes, Digital Versatile Disks (DVDs), Bernoulli cartridges, and the like. These alternate configurations of components and other variations are intended to be within the spirit and scope of the present invention.
  • With reference now to FIG. 2, there is illustrated an exemplary system for prefetching resource link content of an incoming message, in accordance with one embodiment of the invention. The illustrative embodiment is described from the perspective of Computer 102 receiving an incoming message and subsequently prefetching content 206 linked in the incoming message. An incoming message may be any message, such as an email, instant message, system notification, etc. A resource link may be any link to content, such as a Uniform Resource Locator (URL). Upon receiving an incoming message, prefetch logic 120 scans the incoming message for resource links.
  • When resource links are detected, the prefetch logic 120 determines if the resource links are likely to be accessed by a user of Computer 102, by referencing locally stored preferences (e.g., preferences 128, FIG. 1) and by determining relevance of each resource link target. For example, prefetch logic 120 may determine if a destination of a resource link points to relevant files, or if the resource link is merely pointing to a corporate website (e.g., a resource link in a sender's email signature). Prefetch logic 120 may also consider other factors (autonomously, or by accessing stored preferences or data), such as historical access data, time of day, connectivity to a preferred network, system resources, user resources, access permissions, and the linked content of the a specific resource link to determine the probability of access of that specific resource link. Additionally, the locally stored preferences may indicate only to prefetch a resource link target pointing to a specific file type. In an alternate embodiment, prefetch logic 120 may reference past prefetch history to determine if a resource link has been clicked before.
  • After determining that a target of a received resource link is likely to be accessed by a user of Computer 102, prefetch logic 120 checks a prefetch cache data (e.g., prefetch cache data 126) to determine if the target of the resource link has been previously cached. Additionally when existing prefetch cache data of the target of the resource link has been detected, prefetch logic 120 may compare the stored prefetch cache data with the target of the resource link to determine if the stored prefetch cache data is current. In one embodiment, prefetch logic may compare characteristics (e.g. file size, checksum, date stamp) of the target of a resource link with the stored cache data to determine if the cache data is current. When the prefetch cache data is not current or prefetch cache data is not detected for the target, the target of the resource link may be prefetched by prefect logic 120 into system storage (e.g., system storage 124). Prefetched cache data may be stored locally on Computer 102, or, in an alternate embodiment, on a proxy server with local access or a network drive, and may include, files, multimedia content. In the main embodiment, prefetched data may be immediately downloaded to Computer 102 when a suitable network connection is available. In this manner, the prefetch data may then be accessed when the computer is not connected to the network from which the data is downloaded (e.g., network 142). Upon detecting that a user has requested access to the target of the resource link, prefetch logic 120 provides the cached content to the user.
  • In an alternate embodiment prefetched content stored on a local storage may be provided when a computer is functioning in an offline mode (without a network connection). In this manner prefetched content in available for access on Computer 102 when the user is offline. In on example, this may facilitate a user accessing an attachment file of an email that was previously received by Computer 102 but was not accessed until after Computer 102 was already in an offline mode.
  • With reference now to FIG. 3, there is illustrated an exemplary system for prefetching content from incoming messages from a proxy server. In this embodiment, Computer 102 is functioning as a proxy server connected to one or more client terminals 302 a-n. Incoming messages are scanned by prefetch logic 120 of Computer 102 for resource links before delivering the incoming messages to an intended Client Terminal 302 a-n. In this embodiment the target data of a resource link is stored as cached content 306 on Computer 102 and may be served to Client Terminals 302 a-n upon request. This method facilitates more efficient use of a network connection by only downloading a target data of a resource link once instead of once each time a link is clicked by a user. For example, an email sent to a department of 10 persons contained a link to a spreadsheet file stored on a corporate website that each member of the department requires to complete a daily task. Rather than individually allow each department member to download the content 206 from the corporate website upon each click, Computer 102 pre-caches the file initially, and serves the cached content 306 each client terminal 302 a-n upon request instead of allowing each client terminal 302 a-n to download the cached content from a content provider (not pictured).
  • With reference now to FIG. 4, there is provided a high-level flow chart of an exemplary method for prefetching content from incoming messages. At block 402, the computer receives an incoming message. At block 404 the prefetch logic (of the computer) scans the incoming message for resource links. In response to detecting resource links in the incoming message (block 410), the computer then determines the likelihood that each detected resource link is accessed (block 420). When the computer determines that the resource links are not likely to be accessed, or that the incoming message does not contain resource links, the process terminates (block 460).
  • Upon determining that one or more resource links of the incoming message are likely to be accessed, the computer determines if the target of each of the resource links determined likely to be accessed has already been cached (block 430). In the event that the target of a resource link has not previously been cached, the target of the resource link is downloaded and locally cached on the computer (block 434).
  • When the computer determines that the target of a resource link has been cached, the computer determines if the cached data is current by comparing the cached data with the target data of the resource link (block 432). When the cached data is not current, Computer 102 locally downloads the target of the resource link to a local storage (block 434).
  • Upon receiving a request from a user to access the target of the resource link (block 450), the computer serves the cached content to the user (block 452). The process then ends at terminator block 460.
  • In the flow charts above, one or more of the methods are embodied such that a series of steps are performed when the computer readable code is executed on a computing device. In some implementations, certain steps of the methods are combined, performed simultaneously or in a different order, or perhaps omitted, without deviating from the spirit and scope of the invention. Thus, while the method steps are described and illustrated in a particular sequence, use of a specific sequence of steps is not meant to imply any limitations on the invention. Changes may be made with regards to the sequence of steps without departing from the spirit or scope of the present invention. Use of a particular sequence is therefore, not to be taken in a limiting sense, and the scope of the present invention is defined only by the appended claims.
  • Although aspects of the present invention have been described with respect to a computer processor and program application/logic, it should be understood that at least some aspects of the present invention may alternatively be implemented as a program product for use with a data storage system or computer system. Programs defining functions of the present invention can be delivered to a data storage system or computer system via a variety of signal-bearing media, which include, without limitation, non-writable storage media (e.g. CD-ROM), writable storage media (e.g. network attached storages, hard disk drive, read/write CD-ROM, optical media), and communication media, such as computer and telephone networks including Ethernet. It should be understood, therefore, that such signal-bearing media, when carrying or encoding computer readable instructions that direct method functions of the present invention, represent alternative embodiments of the present invention. Further, it is understood that the present invention may be implemented by a system having means in the form of hardware, software, or a combination of software and hardware as described herein or their equivalent.
  • Having thus described the invention of the present application in detail and by reference to illustrative embodiments thereof, it will be apparent that modifications and variations are possible without departing from the scope of the invention defined in the appended claims. In addition, many modifications may be made to adapt a particular system, device or component thereof to the teachings of the invention without departing from the essential scope thereof. Therefore, it is intended that the invention not be limited to the particular embodiments disclosed for carrying out this invention, but that the invention will include all embodiments falling within the scope of the appended claims. Moreover, the use of the terms first, second, etc. do not denote any order or importance, but rather the terms first, second, etc. are used to distinguish one element from another.

Claims (20)

1. A method for prefetching content from incoming messages, the method comprising:
receiving, at a computer, an incoming message;
scanning the incoming message for one or more resource links;
in response to detecting one or more resource links, determining the likelihood of receiving a request to access each of the detected one or more resource links;
in response to determining that a request will likely be received to access the detected one or more resource links, prefetching content of the one or more resource links; and
in response to subsequently receiving a request for access to the resource link content, serving the cached prefetched resource link content.
2. The method of claim 1, wherein the prefetching further comprises:
determining if the content contained in the prefetched resource link has previously been cached.
3. The method of claim 2, further comprising:
in response to determining that the prefetched resource link content has previously been cached, determining if the prefetched resource link content is current; and
in response to determining that the prefetched resource link content is not current, caching the prefetched resource link content.
4. The method of claim 1, further comprising, in response to receiving one or more requests from one or more other computers for access to the resource link content, serving the cached prefetched resource link content to each of the requesting one or more other computers.
5. The method of claim 1, wherein the cached prefetched resource link content is made available for local consumption.
6. The method of claim 1, wherein the cached prefetched resource link content is stored on a proxy server, wherein content cached to a proxy server may be received by a plurality of client devices, and each client receives the prefetched resource link content via the proxy server rather than an original content source.
7. The method of claim 1, further comprising, in response to determining that the incoming message contains a file attachment, caching the file attachment.
8. A system comprising:
a processor;
a mechanism for connecting to a network;
a memory coupled to the processor;
processing logic for:
receiving, at a computer, an incoming message;
scanning the incoming message for one or more resource links;
in response to detecting one or more resource links, determining the likelihood of receiving a request to access each of the detected one or more resource links;
in response to determining that a request will likely be received to access the detected one or more resource links, prefetching content of the one or more resource links; and
in response to subsequently receiving a request for access to the resource link content, serving the cached prefetched resource link content.
9. The system of claim 8, wherein the prefetching further comprises:
determining if the content contained in the prefetched resource link has previously been cached.
10. The system of claim 9, the processing logic further comprising logic for:
in response to determining that the prefetched resource link content has previously been cached, determine if the prefetched resource link content is current; and
in response to determining that the prefetched resource link content is not current, cache the prefetched resource link content.
11. The system of claim 8, the processing logic further comprising logic for, in response to receiving one or more requests from one or more other computers for access to the resource link content, serving the cached prefetched resource link content to each of the requesting one or more other computers.
12. The system of claim 8, wherein the cached prefetched resource link content is made available for local consumption.
13. The system of claim 8, wherein the cached prefetched resource link content is stored on a proxy server, wherein content cached to a proxy server may be received by a plurality of client devices, and each client receives the prefetched resource link content via the proxy server rather than an original content source.
14. The system of claim 8, the processing logic further comprising logic for, in response to determining that the incoming message contains a file attachment, caching the file attachment.
15. A computer-readable storage medium having a plurality of instructions embodied therein, wherein the plurality of instructions, when executed by a processing device, allows a machine to:
receive, at a computer, an incoming message;
scan the incoming message for one or more resource links;
in response to detecting one or more resource links, determine the likelihood of receiving a request to access each of the detected one or more resource links;
determine if the content contained in the prefetched resource link has previously been cached;
in response to determining that a request will likely be received to access the detected one or more resource links and that the content contained in the prefetched resource link has not previously been cached, prefetch content of the one or more resource links; and
in response to subsequently receiving a request for access to the resource link content, serve the cached prefetched resource link content.
16. The computer-readable storage medium of claim 15, wherein the prefetching further comprising instructions for enabling the machine to, in response to receiving one or more requests from one or more other computers for access to the resource link content, serve the cached prefetched resource link content to each of the requesting one or more other computers.
17. The computer-readable storage medium of claim 16, the plurality of instructions further comprising instructions for enabling the machine to:
in response to determining that the prefetched resource link content has previously been cached, determine if the prefetched resource link content is current;
in response to determining that the prefetched resource link content is not current, cache the prefetched resource link content; and
in response to subsequently receiving a request for access to the resource link content, serve the cached prefetched resource link content.
18. The computer-readable storage medium of claim 15, wherein the cached prefetched resource link content is made available for local consumption.
19. The computer-readable storage medium of claim 15, wherein the cached prefetched resource link content is stored on a proxy server, wherein content cached to a proxy server may be received by a plurality of client devices, and each client receives the prefetched resource link content via the proxy server rather than an original content source.
20. The computer-readable storage medium of claim 15, the plurality of instructions further comprising instructions for enabling the machine to, in response to determining that the incoming message contains a file attachment, caching the file attachment.
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