CiD: automating the detection of API-related compatibility issues in Android apps

Li Li, Tegawendé F. Bissyandé, Haoyu Wang, Jacques Klein

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


The Android Application Programming Interface provides the necessary building blocks for app developers to harness the functionalities of the Android devices, including for interacting with services and accessing hardware. This API thus evolves rapidly to meet new requirements for security, performance and advanced features, creating a race for developers to update apps. Unfortunately, given the extent of the API and the lack of automated alerts on important changes, Android apps are suffered from API-related compatibility issues. These issues can manifest themselves as runtime crashes creating a poor user experience. We propose in this paper an automated approach named CiD for systematically modelling the lifecycle of the Android APIs and analysing app bytecode to flag usages that can lead to potential compatibility issues.We demonstrate the usefulness of CiD by helping developers repair their apps, and we validate that our tool outperforms the state-of-the-art on benchmark apps that take into account several challenges for automatic detection.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationISSTA'18 - Proceedings of the 27th ACM SIGSOFT International Symposium on Software Testing and Analysis
Subtitle of host publicationJuly 16–21, 2018 Amsterdam, Netherlands
EditorsFrank Tip, Eric Bodden
Place of PublicationNew York NY USA
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781450356992
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventInternational Symposium on Software Testing and Analysis 2018 - Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 16 Jul 201821 Jul 2018
Conference number: 27th


ConferenceInternational Symposium on Software Testing and Analysis 2018
Abbreviated titleISSTA 2018
Internet address


  • Android
  • API-related Compatibility Issue
  • CiD
  • Framework Base

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