Google Research

Siskin: Leveraging the Browser to Share Web Content in Disconnected Environments

  • Samuel Sudar
  • Matt Welsh
  • Richard Anderson
COMPASS (2018)


Schools in the developing world frequently do not have high bandwidth or reliable connections, limiting their access to web content. As a result, schools are increasingly turning to Offline Educational Resources (OERs), employing purpose-built local hardware to serve content. These approaches can be expensive and difficult to maintain in resource-constrained settings. We present Siskin, an alternative approach that leverages the ubiquity of the web browser to provide a distributed content access cache between user devices on the lo-cal network. We demonstrate that this system allows access to web pages offline by identifying the browser as a ubiquitous platform. We build and evaluate a prototype, showing that existing web protocols and infrastructure can be leveraged to create a powerful content cache over a local network.

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