In articles and textbooks about computer science, I often see the definite article used in the following ways.
In final testing, the program is tested at the end of its development process.
One advantage of compilers is that the program runs quickly once it has been compiled.
This use of the definite article is found elsewhere, too - for instance, in articles and textbooks about biology.
In IVF, the woman is first given hormone treatment.
My question is why the definite article is used in these instances. Unless I am mistaken, the definite article is used in noun phrases that refer to something that is able to be identified; in noun or adjectival phrases denoting an entire class of something (e.g. "The cat is a mammal", "The conversation meandered from the sublime to the ridiculous"); in certain names; or in certain idiomatic expressions (e.g. "He is listening to the radio").
Insofar as I can see, none of these uses fits the use of the definite article in the above sentences. The only use that here seems applicable to the above sentences is that for NPs denoting class, and even here it seems at best only loosely applicable: how is it possible for all programs - the entire set of programs - to run more quickly if only some programs are compiled, for instance?