DARPA is trying to develop a new approach to software design that will result in software able to update itself without human intervention.
The Building Resource Adaptive Software Systems (BRASS) project is spearheading the effort. According to DARPA's announcement, updates are just as difficult for military users as they are for civilians, and often demand considerable time and expense.
The four-year BRASS project seeks an "entirely new clean-slate approach to software design, composition and adaptation," in which the automated self-updating software will keep itself relevant. This will require new techniques, as well as software that can detect changes in the local IT ecosystem.
"Technology inevitably evolves, but very often corresponding changes in libraries, data formats, protocols, input characteristics and models of components in a software ecosystem undermine the behavior of applications," said DARPA program manager Suresh Jagannathan.
DARPA hopes BRASS will lead to software that is more resilient, reliable and easier to maintain, according to the announcement.