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Good news for web junkies: Researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) and Harvard have devised a system that can load webpages 34 percent faster in most web browsers.

The system, called Polaris, builds a “map” of all the download locations of objects—HTML files, images, and other bits of code—on a webpage, and determines the most efficient way to fetch the information. Because it’s built in Javascript, Polaris could be used on any website.

In a press release, the researchers use the analogy of a traveling sales person to describe how Polaris works: “When you visit one city, you sometimes discover more cities you have to visit before going home. If someone gave you the entire list of cities ahead of time, you could plan the fastest possible route.” Polaris, in effect, provides your browser an itinerary in advance.

The team has tested its tool on a variety of high-traffic sites, including ESPN and the New York Times, with positive results. The Polaris creators plan to make their code public in the coming months in the hopes it will eventually be integrated into browsers.

For more details about Polaris, visit Popular Science and Gizmodo.

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