A First Step Towards Detecting Values-violating Defects in Android APIs

Human values should be supported in ubiquitous technologies such as mobile apps. But although there has been a lot of concern around fixing certain kinds of violations of human values, especially privacy, accessibility and security, other values such as pleasure, tradition and humility have received little focus.

In this initiative, we investigate the relationship between human values and Android API services, and develop algorithms to detect potential violations of these values.

We assessed our algorithms with a manually-curated ground truth set resulting in high performance, and applied them to 10,000 apps. Our results show:

  • a correlation between the violation of values and the presence of viruses
  • apps with the lowest number of installations contain more violations of values
  • violation of values was most frequent in social apps.

Project Lead

  • Dr Humphrey Obie