RANDR: Record and Replay for Android Applications via Targeted Runtime Instrumentation
The ability to repeat the execution of a program is a fundamental requirement in many areas of computing from computer system evaluation to software engineering. Reproducing executions of mobile apps, in particular, has proven difficult under real-life scenarios due to multiple sources of external inputs and interactive nature of the apps. Previous works that provide record/replay functionality for mobile apps are restricted to particular input sources (e.g., touchscreen events) and present deployment challenges due to intrusive modifications to the underlying software stack. Moreover, due to their reliance on record and replay of device specific events, the recorded executions cannot be reliably reproduced across different platforms.
In this paper, we present a new practical approach, RandR, for record and replay of Android applications. RandR captures and replays multiple sources of input (i.e., UI and network) without requiring source code (OS or app), administrative device privileges, or any special platform support. RandR achieves these qualities by instrumenting a select set of methods at runtime within an application’s own sandbox. In addition, to enable portability of recorded executions across different platforms for replay, RandR contextualizes UI events as interactions with particular UI components (e.g., a button) as opposed to relying on platform specific features (e.g., screen coordinates). We demonstrate RandR’s accurate cross-platform record and replay capabilities using over 30 real-world Android apps across a variety of platforms including emulators as well as commercial off-the-shelf mobile devices deployed in real life.
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