GE leads team for DARPA ARCOS project

On March 21, Niskayuna, NY-based GE Research announced that it is leading a $10.5 million project through the Defense Advanced Research Agency’s (DARPA) Automated Rapid Certification of Software (ARCOS) program, to revolutionize the process of certifying software for critical military and industrial systems.

DARPA’s ARCOS program is focused on accelerating new developments that reduce the time and cost of certifying new software or software updates to the Department of Defense’s (DOD) large military platforms.  Today, this process is largely manual and highly dependent on a variety of human subject matter experts that must evaluate millions of lines of code and other verification data when reviewing the certification of software for a typical system. The ARCOS program is aiming to achieve a more principled and automated certification process.

Kit Siu, a principal engineer on GE Research’s Controls and Optimization team, and Dr. Abha Moitra, a principal scientist in the Artificial Intelligence Group, are leading GE’s ARCOS project. Siu and Moitra are creating an automated assurance model that can quickly gather and curate the right data and evidence to analyze for certification.  This is wholly different from a typical App update we might experience as consumers with our mobile devices or PCs.  As part of GE’s project, Siu and Moitra will be developing and demonstrating an assurance model for a complex aerospace system, which involves a much bigger, more complex and safety critical application.

“A typical aerospace platform contains tens of millions of lines of software code,” Siu said. “If you want to make any software changes or updates to that system, you must build what is known as an assurance case where you gather and curate the right data and evidence much like a lawyer would do to prepare for a big court case.”

Moitra adds, “You must build a solid case that proves the changes being made will not compromise the system.  To make this process faster, we will be using AI, semantic technology, natural language processing, automation and data analytics to gather and curate the right evidence to build a thorough assurance case in an expedited manner.”

GE Research is collaborating with GE Aviation Systems, a leading manufacturer of avionic systems; Galois, a leading developer of software to assess the trustworthiness of critical systems; and Guardtime Federal, which has developed a unique implementation of blockchain technology to secure the integrity of data used to manage critical systems.

“As DARPA makes strides to increase the speed and automation of software certification processes, Guardtime Federal is excited to collaborate with GE Research to add digital integrity and provenance to the ARCOS evidence lifecycle,” said David Hamilton, president of Guardtime Federal. “Mathematically provable integrity is key to knowing that the data you are using comes from a trusted source, helping combat cyber threats from adversaries that are targeting our software and weapon system development pipelines.”

Source: GE

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