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The ultra-large-scale systems of the future require the transformation of software engineering into a computational discipline capable of fast and dependable software development. This paper discusses an emerging next-generation software engineering research area: Function Extraction (FX) technology for automated computation to the maximum extent possible of the behavior, correctness, and quality attributes of software components and their compositions into systems. An introduction to the mathematical foundations for computation of software behavior is provided, followed by an overview description of a rigorously designed experiment to quantify the potential for FX technology, and a discussion of a CERT STARLab first application of FX technology to compute the behavior of code expressed in the Intel assembly language instruction set.
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