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Publication Detail
Causal impact analysis for app releases in google play
  • Publication Type:
  • Authors:
    Martin W, Sarro F, Harman M
  • Publication date:
  • Pagination:
    435, 446
  • Published proceedings:
    Proceedings of the ACM SIGSOFT Symposium on the Foundations of Software Engineering
  • Volume:
  • ISBN-13:
  • Status:
  • Name of conference:
    FSE 2016
© 2016 ACM.App developers would like to understand the impact of their own and their competitors' software releases. To address this we introduce Causal Impact Release Analysis for app stores, and our tool, CIRA, that implements this analysis. We mined 38,858 popular Google Play apps, over a period of 12 months. For these apps, we identified 26,339 releases for which there was adequate prior and posterior time series data to facilitate causal impact analysis. We found that 33% of these releases caused a statistically significant change in user ratings. We use our approach to reveal important characteristics that distinguish causal significance in Google Play. To explore the actionability of causal impact analysis, we elicited the opinions of app developers: 56 companies responded, 78% concurred with the causal assessment, of which 33% claimed that their company would consider changing its app release strategy as a result of our findings.
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