Empirical Studies on Energy Consumption Issues Based on Stack Overflow and Google Chrome Extensions

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Jin, Bihui
Energy Consumption , Response Time , Google Chrome , Chrome Extensions , Performance Engineering , Stack Overflow , Practitioners' Perceptions , Software Applications , Empirical Study
The advancement of technology has driven a rise in energy consumption, while energy-related issues prospectively influence every avenue in the software life cycle from design and implementation to maintenance. To conserve energy, prolong battery life, and enhance user experience, the energy consumption of software applications has been becoming a critical issue for practitioners to consider in their daily development processes. To address this issue, researchers and practitioners have been exploring various approaches to optimize energy consumption in computing systems. In this thesis, we present empirical studies to garner insights into developing energy-efficient software from two perspectives: (1) understanding practitioners’ perception of energy consumption; and (2) evaluating the impact of extensions on Google Chrome browser performance. In the first part of this thesis, we investigate practitioners' concerns about energy consumption on Stack Overflow (SO). Our findings reveal that the practitioners' intent to initiate discussions in the energy domain is intimately related to the usage of concepts. We also identify six common topics regarding energy consumption questions. Questions related to computing resources are the most concerning topic, while monitoring is the most challenging topic, taking the longest time to receive an accepted answer. We also notice that practitioners consider energy consumption at different levels during application development. In the second part, we delve into the impact of browser extensions on energy consumption and page load time. We conduct experiments to study the performance implications of 61 extensions across 11 categories on Google Chrome, the most popular browser. Our observations indicate that browser performance can be negatively affected by the use of extensions, even when they are not active or used in unexpected circumstances. We also find that highly-rated extensions and those with larger code sizes tend to be more energy-efficient. In summary, this thesis provides insights into the practical issues related to energy consumption in software development. We believe our findings can raise practitioners' awareness about the energy impact on software from various perspectives and can aid in the development of energy-efficient software.
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