Android apps are getting bigger and bigger, packed with more features than most users need or want. All that extra code increases app sizes, slows performance, and expands the attack surface for malware. MiniMon is a framework that can debloat unnecessary features from an Android app based on the logs of specific users’ interactions. It was recently presented in a paper at the International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE) in April 2024.

We teamed up with researchers from Singapore Management University (SMU) to tackle this app bloat problem with a new approach called MiniMon. The project, led by Professor David Lo and Professor Debin Gao from SMU, uses monitoring to analyze how individual users interact with Android apps. By logging which app features each user actually utilizes, MiniMon can then debloat or remove the unnecessary code to create streamlined versions of apps customized for each user’s needs. This slims down the app, improving performance while reducing security risks from the bloated extras.

After collecting execution logs, MiniMon maps the app code, identifies which methods and classes are needed for each user’s behavior traces, and generates debloated versions customized for each user. Early results show MiniMon can reduce app sizes by 59% on average.