Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Treating software as biology

Not techinical at all, but I was just thinking about how sometimes software does things that don't make sense to us and which have no easy solution from a first guess at what's going on. It would be useful to have a integrative view of piece of running software. What I mean is, we want to be able to see what the features are of a system over time, how they change, but we want to see all of these things at the same time. That, I really hope, isn't too hard. From there I would like to see how we can take the state of the program and relate it to the activity of the system it works in.

This idea isn't entirely my own. There was a paper I read a while back about treating a peice of malware as a virus which has certain system call profile. For a single architecture and operating system, this should be statistically stable across machines and serve as a sort of marker. That idea comes, very loosely I'm afraid, from the immune system, which can identify antigens by interacting with them.