Experience: Aging or glitching? why does android stop responding and what can we do about it?

Mingliang Li, Hao Lin, Cai Liu, Zhenhua Li, Feng Qian, Yunhao Liu, Nian Sun, Tianyin Xu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Almost every Android user has unsatisfying experiences regarding responsiveness, in particular Application Not Responding (ANR) and System Not Responding (SNR) that directly disrupt user experience. Unfortunately, the community have limited understanding of the prevalence, characteristics, and root causes of unresponsiveness. In this paper, we make an in-depth study of ANR and SNR at scale based on fine-grained system-level traces crowdsourced from 30,000 Android systems. We find that ANR and SNR occur prevalently on all the studied 15 hardware models, and better hardware does not seem to relieve the problem. Moreover, as Android evolves from version 7.0 to 9.0, there are fewer ANR events but more SNR events. Most importantly, we uncover multifold root causes of ANR and SNR and pinpoint the largest inefficiency which roots in Android's flawed implementation of Write Amplification Mitigation (WAM). We design a practical approach to eliminating this largest root cause; after large-scale deployment, it reduces almost all (>99%) ANR and SNR caused by WAM while only decreasing 3% of the data write speed. In addition, we document important lessons we have learned from this study, and have also released our measurement code/data to the research community.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 26th Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking, MobiCom 2020
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Pages255-265
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781450370851
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 16 2020
Event26th Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking, MobiCom 2020 - London, United Kingdom
Duration: Sep 21 2020Sep 25 2020

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking, MOBICOM

Conference

Conference26th Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking, MobiCom 2020
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityLondon
Period9/21/209/25/20

Keywords

  • Android
  • application not responding (ANR)
  • responsiveness
  • system not responding (SNR)
  • write amplification mitigation (WAM)

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  • Cite this

    Li, M., Lin, H., Liu, C., Li, Z., Qian, F., Liu, Y., Sun, N., & Xu, T. (2020). Experience: Aging or glitching? why does android stop responding and what can we do about it? In Proceedings of the 26th Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking, MobiCom 2020 (pp. 255-265). (Proceedings of the Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking, MOBICOM). Association for Computing Machinery. https://doi.org/10.1145/3372224.3380897