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RoseMatcher: Identifying the Impact of User Reviews on App Updates

Tianyang LiuChong WangKun Huang ...+3 Marten van Sinderen
Oct 2022
Release planning for mobile apps has recently become an area of activeresearch. Prior research concentrated on app analysis based on app releasenotes in App Store, or tracking user reviews to support app evolution withissue trackers. However, as a platform for development teams to communicatewith users, Apple Store has not been studied for detecting the relevancebetween release notes and user reviews. In this paper, we introduceRoseMatcher, an automatic approach to match relevant user reviews with apprelease notes, and identify matched pairs with high confidence. We collected944 release notes and 1,046,862 user reviews from 5 mobile apps in the AppleApp Store as research data, and evaluated the effectiveness and accuracy ofRoseMatcher. Our evaluation shows that RoseMatcher can reach a hit ratio of0.718 for identifying relevant matched pairs. We further conducted manuallabelling and content analysis on 984 relevant matched pairs, and defined 8roles user reviews play in app update according to the relationship betweenrelease notes and user reviews in the relevant matched pairs. The study resultsshow that release notes tend to respond and solve feature requests, bugreports, and complaints raised in user reviews, while user reviews also tend togive positive, negative, and constructive feedback on app updates.Additionally, in the time dimension, the relevant reviews of release notes tendto be posed in a small period of time before and after the release of releasenotes. In the matched pairs, the time interval between the post time of releasenotes and user reviews reaches a maximum of three years and an average of oneyear. These findings indicate that the development teams do adopt user reviewswhen updating apps, and users show their interest in app release notes.