Raytheon developing technology to make software “immortal”
A team led by Cambridge, MA-based Raytheon BBN Technologies is developing methods to make mobile applications viable for up to 100 years, despite changes in hardware, operating system upgrades and supporting services, the company announced May 2. The U.S. Air Force is sponsoring the four-year, $7.8 million contract under the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Building Resource Adaptive Software Systems program.
“Mobile apps are pervasive in the military, but frequent operating system upgrades, new devices and changing missions and environments require manual software engineering that is expensive and causes unacceptable delays,” said Partha Pal, principal scientist at Raytheon BBN. “We are developing techniques to eliminate these interruptions by identifying the way these changes affect application functionality and modifying the software.”
To provide software usefulness for many years, the Raytheon-led team, which also includes Securboration, Inc., Oregon State University, Vanderbilt University and Syracuse University, plans to:
- Develop a set of static and dynamic discovery techniques to identify the ways in which changes in the application’s ecosystem can affect the software’s functionality;
- Develop a set of transformation technologies that modify the software as needed to adapt to these changes;
- Create a software framework to demonstrate and evaluate software evolution in response to ecosystem changes.
These advances could lead to long-lived software systems that satisfy critical customer needs over generations of devices and emerging missions.