Muzeel: Assessing the Impact of JavaScript Dead Code Elimination on Mobile Web Performance

Jesutofunmi Kupoluyi, Moumena Chaqfeh, Matteo Varvello, Russell Coke, Waleed Hashmi, Lakshmi Subramanian, Yasir Zaki

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


To quickly create interactive web pages, developers heavily rely on (large) general-purpose JavaScript libraries. This practice bloats web pages with complex unused functions dead code which are unnecessarily downloaded and processed by the browser. The identification and the elimination of these functions is an open problem, which this paper tackles with Muzeel, a black-box approach requiring neither knowledge of the code nor execution traces. While the state-of-the-art solutions stop analyzing JavaScript when the page loads, the core design principle of Muzeel is to address the challenge of dynamically analyzing JavaScript after the page is loaded, by emulating all possible user interactions with the page, such that the used functions (executed when interactivity events fire) are accurately identified, whereas unused functions are filtered out and eliminated. We run Muzeel against 15,000 popular web pages and show that half of the 300,000 JavaScript files used in these pages have at least 70% of unused functions, accounting for 55% of the files’ sizes. To assess the impact of dead code elimination on Mobile Web performance, we serve 200 Muzeel-ed pages to several Android phones and browsers, under variable network conditions. Our evaluation shows that Muzeel can speed up page loads by 25-30% thanks to a combination of lower CPU and bandwidth usage. Most importantly, we show that such savings are achieved while maintaining the pages’ visual appearance and interactive functionality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationIMC 2022 - Proceedings of the 2022 ACM Internet Measurement Conference
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781450392594
StatePublished - Oct 25 2022
Event22nd ACM Internet Measurement Conference, IMC 2022 - Nice, France
Duration: Oct 25 2022Oct 27 2022

Publication series

NameProceedings of the ACM SIGCOMM Internet Measurement Conference, IMC


Conference22nd ACM Internet Measurement Conference, IMC 2022


  • JavaScript
  • Mobile Web
  • User Experience
  • Web Simplification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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