Publication
CODS-COMAD 2018
Conference paper

Fault in your stars: An analysis of android app reviews

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Abstract

Mobile app distribution platforms such as Google Play Store allow users to share their feedback about downloaded apps in the form of a review comment and a corresponding star rating. Typically, the star rating ranges from one to five stars, with one star denoting a high sense of dissatisfaction with the app and five stars denoting a high sense of satisfaction. Unfortunately, due to a variety of reasons, often the star rating provided by a user is inconsistent with the opinion expressed in the review. For example, consider the following review for the Facebook App on Android; “Awesome App". One would reasonably expect the rating for this review to be five stars, but the actual rating is one star! Such inconsistent ratings can lead to a deflated (or inflated) overall average rating of an app which can affect user downloads, as typically users look at the average star ratings while making a decision on downloading an app. Also, the app developers receive a biased feedback about the application that does not represent ground reality. This is especially significant for small apps with a few thousand downloads as even a small number of mismatched reviews can bring down the average rating drastically. In this paper, we conducted a study on this review-rating mismatch problem. We manually examined 8600 reviews from 10 popular Android apps and found that 20% of the ratings in our dataset were inconsistent with the review. Further, we developed three systems; two of which were based on traditional machine learning and one on deep learning to automatically identify reviews whose rating did not match with the opinion expressed in the review. Our deep learning system performed the best and had an accuracy of 92% in identifying the correct star rating to be associated with a given review. In another evaluation, we asked 23 end users to write reviews for any 5 apps that they had used recently. We got 115 reviews from 66 different mobile apps. Our deep learning system had an accuracy of 87%. Further, our study suggests that this problem is quite prevalent among apps. Across the ten apps used in our study, the mismatch percentage ranged from 16% to 26%.

Date

11 Jan 2018

Publication

CODS-COMAD 2018

Authors

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