The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced that it’s launching a new program to identify and put into use technologies that will enable rapid software adaptation for the Defense Department’s (DoD) systems.

The Intent-Defined Adaptive Software (IDAS) program looks to “capture engineering intentions,” DAPRA said, by developing methods to separate problem descriptions – or the problems that software addresses – from any instantiation of the software.

“This approach will enable software engineers to defer concretization until sufficient information is available to make sound choices,” DARPA said. “The goal of this approach is to drastically reduce the need for manual software modifications, reducing development and maintenance costs and efforts by at least an order of magnitude.”

IDAS researchers will look into methods to capture, learn and annotate programmer intent and constraints in design, development, and build time, to begin the program. Simultaneously, they will keep these methods “separate from the concrete decisions needed to generate a specific instance of the software system.”

Researchers will also look to automated technologies to generate or adapt software accordingly.

DARPA will have a proposers’ day July 9 from 9 a.m. to noon at the DARPA Conference Center in Arlington. The event will outline IDAS technical goals, challenges, and proposal requirements.

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