Towards an Approach to Overcome Software Brittleness

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Description

Development of bug-free, high-surety, complex software is quite difficult using current tools. The brittle nature of the programming constructs in popular languages such as C/C++ is one root cause. Brittle commands force the designer to rigidly specify the minutiae of tasks, e.g. using ''for(index=0;index>total;index++)'', rather than specifying the goals or intent of the tasks, e.g. ''ensure that all relevant data elements have been examined''. Specification of task minutiae makes code hard to comprehend, which in turn encourages design errors/limitations and makes future modifications quite difficult. This report describes an LDRD project to seed the development of a surety computer language, ... continued below

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11 p.

Creation Information

Osbourn, Gordon C. November 1, 1999.

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This report is part of the collection entitled: Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports and was provided by UNT Libraries Government Documents Department to Digital Library, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. More information about this report can be viewed below.

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  • Sandia National Laboratories
    Publisher Info: Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM, and Livermore, CA (United States)
    Place of Publication: Albuquerque, New Mexico

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Description

Development of bug-free, high-surety, complex software is quite difficult using current tools. The brittle nature of the programming constructs in popular languages such as C/C++ is one root cause. Brittle commands force the designer to rigidly specify the minutiae of tasks, e.g. using ''for(index=0;index>total;index++)'', rather than specifying the goals or intent of the tasks, e.g. ''ensure that all relevant data elements have been examined''. Specification of task minutiae makes code hard to comprehend, which in turn encourages design errors/limitations and makes future modifications quite difficult. This report describes an LDRD project to seed the development of a surety computer language, for stand-alone computing environments, to be implemented using the swarm intelligence of autonomous agents. The long term vision of this project was to develop a language with the following surety capabilities: (1) Reliability -- Autonomous agents can appropriate y decide when to act and when a task is complete, provide a natural means for avoiding brittle task specifications, and can overcome many hardware glitches. (2) Safety, security -- Watchdog safety and security agents can monitor other agents to prevent unauthorized or dangerous actions. (3) An immune system -- The small chunks of agent code can have an encryption scheme to enable detection and elimination of unauthorized and corrupted agents. This report describes the progress achieved during this small 9 month project and describes lessons learned.

Physical Description

11 p.

Notes

OSTI as DE00015150

Medium: P; Size: 11 pages

Source

  • Other Information: PBD: 1 Nov 1999

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  • Report No.: SAND99-2850
  • Grant Number: AC04-94AL85000
  • DOI: 10.2172/15150 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 15150
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc620516

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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Creation Date

  • November 1, 1999

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • June 16, 2015, 7:43 a.m.

Description Last Updated

  • April 6, 2017, 7:47 p.m.

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Osbourn, Gordon C. Towards an Approach to Overcome Software Brittleness, report, November 1, 1999; Albuquerque, New Mexico. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc620516/: accessed December 9, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.