Rethinking Web for Affordability and Inclusion

Dr Zafar Ayyub Qazi, Assistant Professor, LUMS, Pakistan
Chaired by
Dr Ben LEONG Wing Lup, Associate Professor, School of Computing

16 May 2024 Thursday, 10:30 AM to 12:00 PM

SR2, COM1-02-04


Today’s Web remains too expensive for many Internet users, especially in developing regions. Unfortunately, the rising complexity of the Web makes affordability an even bigger concern as it stands to limit users’ access to Internet services. In this talk, I discuss our work on analyzing Web and Video platforms for affordability. I will also discuss the design of a novel framework and a fairness metric for rethinking Web architecture for affordability and inclusion.

Our proposed framework systematically adapts Web complexity based on geographic variations in mobile broadband prices and income levels. We conduct a cross-country analysis of 99 countries, showing that our framework can better balance affordability and webpage quality while preserving user privacy. To adapt Web complexity, our framework solves an optimization problem to produce web pages that maximize page quality while reducing the webpage to a given target size.


Dr. Zafar Ayyub Qazi is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at LUMS, Pakistan. Previously, he was a postdoctoral scholar in the EECS department at the University of California, Berkeley, US. Dr. Qazi received his Ph.D. from the State University of New York, Stony Brook, US. His research focuses on networked systems and their societal implications, with current projects spanning internet affordability, 5G/6G cellular networks, systems for large language models, and privacy-preserving machine learning. He has published many papers in top-tier conferences including multiple papers in ACM SIGCOMM, WWW, and ACM IMC. He was recently included in the list of 100 most influential scholars in computer networking by AI 2000. He is also a recipient of the Google Faculty Research Award and the Google exploreCSR Award.