Towards automatically repairing compatibility issues in published Android Apps

Yanjie Zhao, Li Li, Kui Liu, John Grundy

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

14 Citations (Scopus)


The heavy fragmentation of the Android ecosystem has led to se-vere compatibility issues with apps, including those that crash at runtime or cannot be installed on certain devices but work well on other devices. To address this problem, various approaches have been proposed to detect and fix compatibility issues automatically. However, these all come with various limitations on fixing the com-patibility issues, e.g., can only fix one specific type of issues, cannot deal with multi-invocation issues in a single line and issues in re-leased apps. To overcome these limitations, we propose a generic approach that aims at fixing more types of compatibility issues in released Android apps. To this end, our prototype tool, Repair-Droid, provides a generic app patch description language for users to create fix templates for compatibility issues. The created tem-plates will then be leveraged by RepairDroid to automatically fix the corresponding issue at the bytecode level (e.g., right before users install the app). RepairDroid can support template creations for OS-induced, device-specific and inter-callback compatibility issues detected by three state-of-the-art approaches. Our experimental re-sults show that RepairDroid can fix 7,660 out of 8,976 compatibility issues in 1,000 randomly selected Google Play apps. RepairDroid is generic to configure new compatibility issues and outperforms the state-of-the-art on effectively repairing compatibility issues in released Android apps.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2022 ACM/IEEE 44th International Conference on Software Engineering, ICSE 2022
EditorsDaniela Damian, Andreas Zeller
Place of PublicationNew York NY USA
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781450392211
Publication statusPublished - 2022
EventInternational Conference on Software Engineering 2022: Software Engineering in Society - Pittsburgh, United States of America
Duration: 22 May 202227 May 2022
Conference number: 44th (Proceedings) (Website)

Publication series

NameProceedings - International Conference on Software Engineering
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
ISSN (Print)0270-5257


ConferenceInternational Conference on Software Engineering 2022
Abbreviated titleICSE-SEIS 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited States of America
Internet address


  • Android
  • Automated Program Repair
  • Compatibility Issue

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