The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced its development of a new program to accelerate and scale software certification processes for military systems and platforms on May 3.
The program, the Automated Rapid Certification of Software (ARCOS), uses automated assessments of software evidence and provides feedback on the software’s level of risk. ARCOS does this through “‘Big Code’ analytics, mathematically rigorous analysis and verification, as well as assurance case languages,” DARPA said.
“This approach to reengineering the software certification process is well timed as it aligns with the [Defense Department (DoD)] Digital Engineering Strategy, which details how the department is looking to move away from document-based engineering processes and towards design models that are to be the authoritative source of truth for systems,” said Dr. Ray Richards, a program manager of the DARPA Information Innovation Office.
Moving toward automation in ARCOS, the program has three phases:
- Explore techniques for automating evidence generation processes for both new and legacy software;
- Form a means of curating evidence while maintaining its provenance; and
- Develop technologies for both the automated construction of assurance cases and that can validate and assess the confidence of an assurance case argument.