DARPA’s online games crowdsource software security

DARPA’s online games crowdsource software security by Kevin McCaney.

From the post:

Flaws in commercial software can cause serious problems if cyberattackers take advantage of them with their increasingly sophisticated bag of tricks. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency wants to see if it can speed up discovery of those flaws by making a game of it. Several games, in fact.

DARPA’s Crowd Sourced Formal Verification (CSFV) program has just launched its Verigames portal, which hosts five free online games designed to mimic the formal software verification process traditionally used to look for software bugs.

Verification, both dynamic and static, has proved to be the best way to determine if software free of flaws, but it requires software engineers to perform “mathematical theorem-proving techniques” that can be time-consuming, costly and unable to scale to the size of some of today’s commercial software, according to DARPA. With Verigames, the agency is testing whether untrained (and unpaid) users can verify the integrity of software more quickly and less expensively.

“We’re seeing if we can take really hard math problems and map them onto interesting, attractive puzzle games that online players will solve for fun,” Drew Dean, DARPA program manager, said in announcing the portal launch. “By leveraging players’ intelligence and ingenuity on a broad scale, we hope to reduce security analysts’ workloads and fundamentally improve the availability of formal verification.”

If program verification is possible with online games, I don’t know of any principled reason why topic map authoring should not be possible.

Maybe fill-in-the-blank topic map authoring is just a poor authoring technique for topic maps.

Imagine gamifying data streams to be like Missile Command. 😉

Can you even count the number of hours that you played Missile Command?

Now consider the impact of a topic map authoring interface that addictive.

Particularly if the user didn’t know they were doing useful work.

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