Most Android applications are written in Java and run on a Dalvik virtual machine. For smartphone vendors and users who wish to know the performance of an application on a particular smartphone but cannot obtain the source code, we propose a new technique, Dalvik Profiler for Applications (DPA), to profile an Android application on a Dalvik virtual machine without the support of source code. Within a Dalvik virtual machine, we determine the entry and exit locations of a method, log its execution time, and analyze the log to determine the performance of the application. Our experimental results show an error ratio of less than 5%from the baseline tool Traceview which instruments source code. The results also show some interesting behaviors of applications and smartphones: the performance of some smartphones with higher hardware specifications is 1.5 times less than the phones with lower specifications. DPA is now publicly available as an open source tool.
- Dalvik virtual machine