CS525, Advanced Distributed Systems, SP 2018: Writing your Project Reports


Phase I. Survey Report Outline: At most 3 pages, 12 point font (submissions violating these will be penalized!)

Recommended structure for Survey Report (both Research Projects and Entrepreneurial Projects) is:

  1. Title+abstract.
  2. Related Work (bulk of survey report). Need to have >= 15 references. About 2 pages. References could be papers, websites (e.g., of competitors for entrepreneurial projects, or other open source or proprietary systems).
  3. Motivation+Concrete Problem Statement (need not be formal, only concrete).
  4. Approach(es) planned to solving problems - initial thoughts will suffice.
  5. Timeline/Expected Milestones for achieving your goals.
  6. (Entepreneurial Projects only) Business Plan

Survey Submission Instructions: The Survey Report Deadline is February 25, 2018, 11.59 PM. At most 3 pages for main material + 1 page Business plan if applicable + any number of pages for references, 12 point font. You can use any number of pages for references. The extra 1 page is only to be used for the business plan (submissions violating these will be penalized!). The 3 pages does not include references. To submit, do BOTH of the following by 11.59 PM on February 25, 2018: (1) email your survey report as an email attachment (doc, pdf, or ps only) with Subject line "525 Survey" to indy at illinois dot edu; AND (2) print out a hardcopy (single-sided) and submit it by slipping it under Indy's office door (3112 SC).

            What is a Business Plan? Sabeer Bhatia, inventor of hotmail.com, best answers it this way:

"A business  plan is nothing more than your own communication to a person not sitting in  front of you-an imaginary person who will read it. Try to answer every possible  question that that person could raise. That's the description of a business plan,  really. I didn't take any formal lessons. I just sat down and I wrote about the problem   we were trying to solve, and in two paragraphs I described the World Wide  Web and how it had grown and what its future potential could be. I said, this is  the problem today that we are trying to address, this is how we hope to address  it, with this idea. This is how we hope to monetize it and this is what page  impressions are able to fetch you in the print world. If you translate it into the online world, this is how it will happen. And that's it, that was the core of our  business plan."

           

Phase II. Midterm Report: We will be using double-blind reviewing for the midterm report, for both research projects and entrepreneurial projects. This means that (1) when you submit your midterm report, you should not include your name(s) anywhere in the midterm report, nor reference any of your prior work (if you need to cite this work, you can mark the reference as xxx); (2) your midterm will be peer-reviewed by 3 other anonymous students in the class, whose identities you will not know. (1) is necessary to preserve fairness of reviews and prevent reviewer bias, while (2) is needed to preserve anonymity of reviewers. Indy and the TA will be the only ones to know which report was submitted by which group, and the who reviewers were.

Entrepreneurial projects must include an updated business plan.

Please note that if your midterm report is not anonymous, it will be returned without being graded. Similarly, if your midterm review (instructions later) is not anonymous, you will not get credit for it.

Your midterm report needs to have (1) some algorithms, (2) some initial implementation, and (3) most importantly, some initial experimental data (mandatory!). While writing the midterm report, you may want to think about, and address the following questions head-on about your work:

    Please ensure that your plots print ok on black and white printouts. It is ok to use color, but you cannot solely rely on color to distinguish datapoints or datalines.

Midterm Report Submission Instructions: The Midterm Report Deadline is April 1, 2018 (Wednesday), 11.59 PM. At most 8 pages for the main material + 1 pages Business plan if applicable + any number of pages for the references, 12 point font - the 1 extra page is only to be used for the business plan (submissions violating these will be penalized!). The 8 pages does not include references. We will use EasyChair for managing the whole submission process. Upload your midterm report along with the requested information using the link posted on Piazza. If you have already uploaded a survey report, you can modify the submission with the midterm report.

Midterm Review Form: Will be available on easychair. Please accept the Easychair Program Committee (PC/TPC) invite asap, otherwise we will not be able to assign reviews and you will lose points.

Midterm Review Submission Instructions: The Midterm Review Deadline is April 8, 2018 (Wednesday), 11.59 PM. You will receive your review assignments via mail from EasyChair which will have submission instructions.

 

Phase III. Final Report: A conference-quality paper (for research projects), or the final documentation for your venture (entrepreneurial projects). Focus on the same Questions 0 through 6 above for the midterm report, as well a pay attention to:

    Please ensure that your plots print ok on black and white printouts. It is ok to use color, but you cannot solely rely on color to distinguish datapoints or datalines.

Final Report Submission Instructions: The Final Report Deadline is May 6, 2018 (Sunday), 11.59 PM. At most 12 pages for main material + 1 page for Business plan if applicable + any number of pages for references, 12 point font -  the extra page is only to be used for the business plan (submissions violating these will be penalized!). The 12 pages does not include references. Submit your final report by emailing indy@illinois.edu and the TAs with the subject line "CS525 Final Report" AND sliding a softcopy under Indy's office door (3112) - both should be done before the deadline. Please cc all team members so that the feedback can be sent back to all by Indy. DO NOT upload your final report on easychair/midterm submission system.