Redundant data transfers over the Web, can be mainly attributed to the repeated transfers of unchanged data. Web caches and Web proxies are some of the solutions that have been proposed, to deal with the issue of redundant data transfers. In this paper we focus on the efficient estimation and reduction of redundant data transfers over the Web. We first prove that a vast amount of redundant data is transferred in Web pages that are considered to carry fresh data. We show this by following an approach based on Web page fragmentation and manipulation. Web pages are broken down to fragments, based on specific criteria. We then deal with these fragments as independent constructors of the Web page and study their change patterns independently and in the context of the whole Web page. After the fragmentation process, we propose solutions for dealing with redundant data transfers. This paper has been based on our previous work on ‘Web Components’ but also on related work by other researchers. It utilises a proxy based, client/server architecture, and imposes changes to the algorithms executed on the Proxy server and on clients. We show that our proposed solution can considerably reduce the amount of redundant data transferred on the
Web. Copyright # 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.