Carnegie Mellon University
15-826 Multimedia Databases and Data Mining
  Fall 2011 - C. Faloutsos

PROJECT INFORMATION

1. Preliminaries

There are three graded parts to the project:

  1. Phase 1: the project proposal (10%),
  2. Phase 2: the progress report (10%) and
  3. Phase 3: the final report and poster (80%).
The proposal will be a short writeup describing what you plan to do and how you plan to do it. The progress report will be a more extensive writeup, describing the work performed up to then, and the revised plans for the whole project. It mainly serves as a `checkpoint', to detect and prevent dead-ends and other problems early on. The report will be a more detailed description of what you did, what results you obtained, and what you have learned and/or can conclude from your work. The work will be carried out in teams of 3-4 persons. Smaller groups will only be allowed under special circumstances.

2. Choosing a Topic

Start from the  list of suggested projects (internal to CMU), for some recommendations. You and your project partners are free to pick a different topic to suit your interests, after the instructor's approval. In that case, you will need to justify that the topic is interesting, relevant to the course, and of suitable difficulty.

Joint projects with other courses are also negotiable. In that case, you will need the approval of the instructor, and you also need to clarify exactly what steps will be done for our course, as well as for the other course.

Once you have selected a topic, you should do some background reading so that you are capable of describing, in some detail, what you expect to accomplish. For example, if you decide that you want to implement some new proposal for a multidimensional file structure, you will have to carefully read the paper that proposes similar structures, pinpoint their weaknesses, and explain how your approach will address these weaknesses. Once you have read up on your topic, you will be ready to write your proposal.

3. First Deliverable: Phase 1 - The Proposal

The proposal should describe what you plan to do for your project. It should describe the problem that you will be addressing, how you plan to address it, what tools (e.g., "yacc", Postgres, hadoop, etc.) you will need for your work, what you expect to produce as a result of your work, and anything else that you think the instructor should know to evaluate your plans. You should also describe what portion of the project each partner will be doing.

Your proposal should be approximately 6-8 pages long, typed (eg., latex/postscript/msword), double-spaced, neat, and with pictures if they seem useful (`idraw' and `xfig' are good choices). Also, the proposal should be self-contained. For example, don't just say: "We plan to implement Smith's Foo-Tree data structure [Smith86], and we will study its performance." Instead, you should briefly review the key ideas in the references, and describe clearly the alternatives that you will be examining.

Important points - check-list:

4. Second Deliverable: Phase 2 - The Progress Report

This should be a 10-15 page long report, and it serves as a check-point. It should consist of the same sections as your final report (introduction, survey, etc), with a few sections `under construction'. Specifically, the introduction and survey sections should be in their final form; the section on the proposed method should be almost finished; the sections on the experiments and conclusions will have whatever results you have obtained, as well as `place-holders' for the results you plan/hope to obtain.

Grading scheme for the project report:

Again: Keep the graded Phase 2 report, and attach it to your phase 3 submission.

5. Third deliverable: Phase 3 - The Final Report and Poster

The grade of the final phase of the project will have the following components:

  1. writeup: there, you would describe the novelties of your approach and your discoveries/insights/experiments. Your final report is expected to be a 20-30 pages long report, treating in depth the agreed topic. 
  2. software: packaging, documentation, and portability. The goal is to provide enough material, so that other people can use it and continue your work.
  3. poster presentation. The poster of each group will consist of  nine pages (e.g., use power-point/openoffice to create those 9 pages)

5.1. Grading Scheme for Final Report and Poster

5.2. Specifications for packaging of software:

Please create a tar-file, like this sample package ( use  gunzip ; tar xvf). Check-list:
  1. after un-tar-ing, the command 'make' should compile your system, install it if necessary and run a small demo on a sample input file (included in your package)
  2. it should have a README file, corresponding to the `user's manual': This file should describe the package in a few paragraphs, as well as how to install it and how to use it.
  3. it should have a directory DOC, with your writeup, and your foils (in your favorite form: latex, pdf, powerpoint, ms-word)
  4. `make paper.ps'  or 'make paper.pdf' should create the corresponding version of your writeup (skip this step, if you use ms-word)
  5. `make clean' should eliminate all the derived files (*.o, *.class, *.aux, etc)
  6. `make all.tar' (or 'make all.zip') should create a  tar/zip-file,  ready for distribution.
  7. please make sure that your package includes only the absolutely necessary set of files!

5.3. Final project report - Administrivia

On the announced due date,  Dec. 1, 2011, (not Dec. 9 - apologies for the confusion) please
  1. bring a hard copy of the writeup in class,
  2. also bring a (hard copy) of the graded phase-2 report and graded phase-1 report and
  3. e-mail  the instructor your tar/zip-file before class.  If the file is too large for e-mailing, contact the instructor.

5.4. Poster session - Administrivia

6. Due Dates

As announced in the course schedule


Created: Sept. 10, 2011; updated Nov.  14, by Christos Faloutsos