Since network-enabled systems will involve many legacy systems as well as new systems, it is imperative that software be designed in a way that it can be evolved in an affordable manner throughout its life cycle. The committee recommends that AFOSR support research to improve the evolvability of software-intensive systems. The following specific lines of research, which could build on readily available commercial frameworks, are recommended:

  • Improvements to our ability to conduct dynamic, model-based analyses to analyze nonfunctional attributes.

  • In order to improve component integration, research to accelerate the development of abstract design-component systems and code-component-based systems, addressing automated discovery, composition, generation, interoperability, and reuse across hundreds of systems.

  • Research in security in support of the goal of measurable, available, secure, trustworthy, and sustainable network-enabled systems.

  • To attain assured reliability with hard time-deadlines, methods for modeling and analyzing integrated reliability, availability, and schedulability of components and systems in realistic conditions derived from user-specified scenarios.

  • Energy-efficient components of the overall system: (1) network energy on network interface and communication protocols of ad hoc networks, (2) processor energy and process management for scheduling various applications, (3) memory/storage energy and memory/storage management, and (4) display energy.

  • Research into novel integration of methods for verification and validation, such as integration of informal methods (e.g., software testing and monitoring) with formal verification (i.e., model checking and theorem proving) and abstract interpretation and static program analysis techniques. The ability to validate scalability, adoptability, usability, and measurement is also important, and some fundamental breakthroughs in the past 5 years have led to a rapid rise in industry adoption and interest.

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