Abhilash Jindal and Y. Charlie Hu, Purdue University
Mobile app energy profilers provide a foundational energy diagnostic tool by identifying energy hotspots in the app source code. However, they only tackle the first challenge faced by developers, as, after presented with the energy hotspots, developers typically do not have any guidance on how to proceed with the remaining optimization process: (1) Is there a more energy-efficient implementation for the same app task? (2) How to come up with the more efficient implementation?
To help developers tackle these challenges, we developed a new energy profiling methodology called differ- ential energy profiling that automatically uncovers more efficient implementations of common app tasks by leveraging existing implementations of similar apps which are bountiful in the app marketplace. To demonstrate its effectiveness, we implemented such a differential energy profiler, DIFFPROF, for Android apps and used it to profile 8 groups (from 6 popular app categories) of 5 similar apps each. Our extensive case studies show that DIFFPROF provides developers with actionable diagnosis beyond a traditional energy profiler: it identifies non-essential (unmatched or extra) and known-to-be inefficient (matched) tasks, and the call trees of tasks it extracts further allow developers to quickly understand the reasons and develop fixes for the energy difference with minor manual debugging efforts.
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