Military Embedded Systems

Autonomous software sustainment solution introduced to DoD


July 09, 2019

Emma Helfrich

Technology Editor

Military Embedded Systems

Autonomous software sustainment solution introduced to DoD
Graphic courtesy of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

WASHINGTON. The Department of Defense (DoD) often relies on complex software systems. The rapid pace of software innovation, requirements, and system security, however, requires continual updating. The Intent-Defined Adaptive Software (IDAS) aims to shift system costs and developer focus from maintenance to design and development.


Engineers frequently resort to concretization to manage the complexity of large software systems. Concretization simplifies the problem space by allowing engineers to define and implement an architecture, and partition development into a set of tasks that may be completed in parallel. Concretization tends to produce a solution that is tailored to a specific problem context, making it difficult to change or adapt the technology in the future.

IDAS will focus on engineering intentions in order to enable rapid software adaptation autonomously. The program seeks to develop engineering methods that separate the problem description – including the problem the software will address, the intent of the software, and its abstract constraints – from any particular instantiation of the software, deferring concretization until sufficient information is available to make sound choices.

DARPA will conduct periodic challenge exercises within select problem domains, such as cloud migration or logistics systems. These exercises will present evolving sets of requirements that are representative of the changes such systems would likely face over their lifetimes, such as regulatory shifts, new computational resources, or emerging cyber threats.



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