Extending EcoAndroid with Automated Detection of Resource Leaks

Abstract

When developing mobile applications, developers often have to decide when to acquire and when to release resources. This leads to resource leaks, a kind of bug where a resource is acquired but never released. This is a common problem in Android applications that can degrade energy efficiency and, in some cases, can cause resources to not function properly. In this paper, we present an extension of EcoAndroid, an Android Studio plugin that improves the energy efficiency of Android applications, with an inter-procedural static analysis that detects resource leaks. Our analysis is implemented using Soot, FlowDroid, and Heros, which provide a static-analysis environment capable of processing Android applications and performing inter-procedural analysis with the IFDS framework. It currently supports the detection of leaks related to four Android resources: Cursor, SQLiteDatabase, Wakelock, and Camera. We evaluated our tool with the DroidLeaks benchmark and compared it with 8 other resource leak detectors. We obtained a precision of 72.5% and a recall of 83.2%. Our tool was able to uncover 191 previously unidentified leaks in this benchmark. These results show that our analysis can help developers identify resource leaks.

Publication
9th IEEE/ACM International Conference on Mobile Software Engineering and Systems 2022 (MobileSoft 2022), co-located with ICSE 2022
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Alexandra Mendes
Assistant Professor

My research focuses on innovative user interfaces for formal methods and mathematical approaches to software quality. More recently, I started work on usable security, in particular on the impact of formal verification on the use and adoption of formally verified security software products. I am also interested on innovative and fun ways to teach Computer Science. For more details, see selected publications and some of my projects. Follow me on Twitter or add me on LinkedIn.