Cent’anni! A DARPA toast to long-life software

Shutterstock image (by Arcady): lifetime warranty.

(Image: Arcady / Shutterstock)

Why: DARPA is accepting proposals for its Building Resource Adaptive Software Systems, or BRASS, program that looks to gain fundamental, foundational advances in the design and implementation of long-lived software systems. Researchers want those systems to be able to dynamically adapt to changes in the resources they depend on and environments in which they operate, instead of having to be constantly manually updated by IT personnel.

Those advances won't be easy. They’ll require development of new linguistic abstractions, formal methods, and resource-aware program analyses that can discover and specify program transformations. Systems designed to monitor changes in the surrounding digital ecosystem will also be needed, DARPA said.

“Technology inevitably evolves, but very often corresponding changes in libraries, data formats, protocols, input characteristics and models of components in a software ecosystem undermine the behavior of applications,” Program Manager Suresh Jagannathan said in a statement. “The inability to seamlessly adapt to new operating conditions undermines productivity, hampers the development of cyber-secure infrastructure and raises the long-term risk that access to important digital content will be lost as the software that generates and interprets content becomes outdated.” 

According to DARPA, BRASS's underlying premise is to create "an entirely new clean-slate approach to software design, composition and adaptation."

Posted by Mark Rockwell on Apr 16, 2015 at 9:02 AM


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