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A Crawling Approach of Hierarchical GUI Model Generation for Android Applications

Chien-Hung Liu,
Ping-Hung Chen,


As the number of Android applications has increased dramatically, there is a rising concern about their quality and reliability. In particular, the rich GUI interactions supported by Android should be thoroughly tested in order to ensure if the behavior of an Android application is correct. However, manually creating a GUI state model can be tedious and error-prone, especially for a nontrivial application. This paper proposes a crawler that can automatically generate the GUI state model for an Android application. Particularly, a hierarchical state model is employed to represent the intra- and inter-activity GUI behavior of Android applications in order to increase the model readability. Empirical experiments were conducted to evaluate the proposed crawler and the generated model. The results show that the state model generated by the crawler has a promising coverage as compared to the model created manually. The hierarchical state model can greatly improve the model readability to ease the GUI behavior analysis and validation for Android applications.

Citation Format:
Chien-Hung Liu, Ping-Hung Chen, "A Crawling Approach of Hierarchical GUI Model Generation for Android Applications," Journal of Internet Technology, vol. 19, no. 5 , pp. 1613-1623, Sep. 2018.

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