The details are given below.
Acceptable types of projects
The project will be of two generic types:
- Application project: An application of a specific set of software metrics and/or quality engineering techniques discussed in class and a report of the activities, experience and related findings. For example, you may define/select/collect metrics data from one of your company’s projects, perform various analyses, and identify problematic areas for focused quality/productivity improvement.
It is a good idea to consider multiple metrics, preferably from different metrics categories. For example, some internal, some external metrics. When you measure quality, multiple quality attributes/characteristics are preferable to a single one. For this reason, and for a good learning experience, a pure SRE (software reliability engineering) project is not suitable for this class, although it might be perfectly OK for CSE 8317 Software Reliability and Safety, which covers a subset of the quality metrics we cover in this class, together with other material not covered here and in more depth.
- Term research paper: A term paper covering some in-depth (theoretical or fundamental research) and/or up-to-date (research done in the last few years) study of a chosen topic. If you choose this option, you must study at least three papers (no survey papers as your sources, please!) of a closely related topic thoroughly, and your conclusions and observations must be your own based on your own experience, specifically conducted cases studies, and/or logical reasoning. The summary of the chosen papers is only a small part of your term paper, the focus should be on issues mentioned above. One concrete example is a study of hypothesis testing using metrics data. Another example is metrics usage and modeling for cloud computing as a new application area.
(For those of you who are familiar with technical publications, your term research paper is similar to some “survey papers” you see from time to time in journals. — You see, your are producing a survey paper here. That’s why I don’t want you to use survey papers as your primary sources.)
Students may form a team to do a application-type project if it is of a larger scale/scope that requires team effort (must be well justified). However, if one chooses to write a term paper, it should be an individual effort.
Project Proposal (and Pre-Proposal)
You project proposal should be around 3-5 double spaced pages in length, and should include the following information:
- a proper title (not just project for CSE 8314)
- an proper abstract, that should be written as an executive summary
- clearly identify the problem that you are going to address, or topic area for your term paper,
- some basic background information,
- the solution strategy you intend to use (what are you going to measure? how? which analysis/modeling technique? etc.) for your application project or a selected topic areas with some candidate papers or sources.
- a rough schedule
- for application-type projects, you also need to discuss:
- measurement implementation and data collection,
- analysis of result to be performed,
- followup actions,
- for term papers, you also need to pay attention to:
- importance and relevance of the selected topic and its relation to the specific topic(s) we discussed in class.
- importance and contribution of candidate papers
- diversity of candidate papers, all or most should be from diverse published sources (see my comments about hw#1).
- if you have access to relevant internal reports, they will probably be more relevant, but you should tie them to the “state-of-art” published research.
In case of a group project (application project only, not term paper), please also provide information regarding roles and responsibilities.
Each presentation will be between 15 and 30 minutes. Please focus more on the important activities and findings, not too much on the background and details.
A project report or term paper should be around 15 double-spaced pages in length, and clearly and comprehensively describes the background, problem, strategy, metrics, activities, result analysis, lessons learned, followup actions, and summary/conclusions. A high level summary or an abstract should also be included at the beginning of your report.
If you’d like to, raw data and detailed modeling/analysis activities should be included in the appendix. Remember, it is a “report” after all. Not a collection of data and models without description/discussion.
For term papers, please also include, in the appendix, the titles and abstracts of the papers your covered in detail. In additional, if the paper(s) was not publicly available (e.g., internal reports), you need to include a copy of the paper(s) with your report. These documents are not counted in the 15-page limit.