Predicting Intrusiveness of Android Apps by Applying LSTM Networks on Their Descriptions

Fernando Montenegro*, Halil Bisgin, Fadi Mohsen, Nikita Sobers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review


Mobile apps are at the center of everyone’s daily lives and users give them access to their intimate personal data. Therefore, it is important to develop methods for figuring out how much an app can detect and collect from its users, and whether that access is in line with their expectations of privacy. Several methods have been devised to determine app intrusiveness, including analysis of their descriptions and conformity with their programmed behavior. Most of the existing approaches depend on static analysis that is not easily done on the go. We propose a novel method to determine whether an app is intrusive based on the app description which can allow users to make decisions before downloading. More specifically, we used a Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) network to analyze the descriptions, along with a multi-layer perceptron (MLP) network to process hints provided by other app features. This combined network structure achieved 79% and 74% accuracy rates for training and validation, respectively. Our findings indicate that not only it is possible to use the description and other readily available information to predict the intrusiveness of an app, but also that the network required to do the job is fairly small.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Future Technologies Conference (FTC)
EditorsKohei Arai, Supriya Kapoor, Rahul Bhatia
PublisherSpringer International Publisher
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-63128-4
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-63127-7
Publication statusPublished - 31-Oct-2020
EventThe Future Technologies Conference 2020 (FTC 2020) - Vancouver, Canada
Duration: 5-Nov-20206-Nov-2020

Publication series

NameAdvances in Intelligent Systems and Computing
ISSN (Print)2194-5357


ConferenceThe Future Technologies Conference 2020 (FTC 2020)

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