Discovery of Ranking Fraud for Mobile Apps
Ranking fraud in the mobile App market refers to fraudulent or deceptive activities which have a purpose of bumping up the Apps in the popularity list. Indeed, it becomes more and more frequent for App developers to use shady means, such as inflating their Apps’ sales or posting phony App ratings, to commit ranking fraud. While the importance of preventing ranking fraud has been widely recognized, there is limited understanding and research in this area. To this end, in this paper, we provide a holistic view of ranking fraud and propose a ranking fraud detection system for mobile Apps. Specifically, we first propose to accurately locate the ranking fraud by mining the active periods, namely leading sessions, of mobile Apps. Such leading sessions can be leveraged for detecting the local anomaly instead of global anomaly of App rankings. Furthermore, we investigate three types of evidences, i.e., ranking based evidences, rating based evidences and review based evidences, by modeling Apps’ ranking, rating and review behaviors through statistical hypotheses tests. In addition, we propose an optimization based aggregation method to integrate all the evidences for fraud detection.