Innovations in Software Engineering for Defense Systems

Front Cover

Recent rough estimates are that the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) spends at least $38 billion a year on the research, development, testing, and evaluation of new defense systems; approximately 40 percent of that cost-at least $16 billion-is spent on software development and testing. There is widespread understanding within DoD that the effectiveness of software-intensive defense systems is often hampered by low-quality software as well as increased costs and late delivery of software components. Given the costs involved, even relatively incremental improvements to the software development process for defense systems could represent a large savings in funds. And given the importance of producing defense software that will carry out its intended function, relatively small improvements to the quality of defense software systems would be extremely important to identify. DoD software engineers and test and evaluation officials may not be fully aware of a range of available techniques, because of both the recent development of these techniques and their origination from an orientation somewhat removed from software engineering, i.e., from a statistical perspective. The panel's charge therefore was to convene a workshop to identify statistical software engineering techniques that could have applicability to DoD systems in development.

 

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