TitleMosaic: Cross-Platform User-Interaction Record and Replay for the Fragmented Android Ecosystem
inProc. of IEEE International Symposium on Performance Analysis of Systems and Software (ISPASS)
Author(s)Matthew Halpern, Yuhao Zhu, Ramesh Peri, Vijay Janapa Reddi
DateMarch, 2015
LocationPhiladelphia, PA, USA
Download Paper (761 KB)
Slide Deck (7.7 MB)
Citation BibTex

In contrast to traditional computing systems, such as desktops and servers, that are programmed to perform “compute-bound” and “run-to-completion” tasks, mobile applications are designed for user interactivity. Factoring user interactivity into computer system design and evaluation is important, yet possesses many challenges. In particular, systematically studying interactive mobile applications across the diverse set of mobile devices available today is difficult due to the mobile device fragmentation problem. At the time of writing, there are 18,796 distinct Android mobile devices on the market and will only continue to increase in the future. Differences in screen sizes, resolutions and operating systems impose different interactivity requirements, making it difficult to uniformly study these systems.

We present Mosaic, a cross-platform, timing-accurate record and replay tool for Android-based mobile devices. Mosaic overcomes device fragmentation through a novel virtual screen abstraction. User interactions are translated from a physical device into a platform-agnostic intermediate representation before translation to a target system. The intermediate representation is human-readable, which allows Mosaic users to modify previously recorded traces or even synthesize their own user interactive sessions from scratch. We demonstrate that Mosaic allows user interaction traces to be recorded on emulators, smartphones, tablets, and development boards and replayed on other devices. Using Mosaic we were able to replay 45 different Google Play applications across multiple devices, and also show that we can perform cross-platform performance comparisons between two different processors under identical user interactions.