GUIDELINES ON WRITING A GRADUATE PROJECT THESIS SHAN

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<ul><li><p>GUIDELINES ON WRITING A GRADUATE PROJECT THESIS</p><p>SHAN BARKATAKI, COMPUTERSCIENCE DEPARTMENT,CSUN </p><p>1. PURPOSE AND INTRODUCTION </p><p>Thepurposeofthisdocumentistoprovideguidelinesonwritingagraduateprojectthesis.Itisnotintendedtobeusedinwritingathesisdescribingtheoreticalresearchwork.</p><p>Agraduateprojectthesisrepresentstheculminatingexperienceresultingfromyourgraduatestudy.Yourthesisisthemostimportantartifactyoucreateinearningyourdegree.Itwillpersistinperpetuity,longafteryourgraduation.Itisthethesisthatprovesthatyouhavemasteryinthesubjectmatter.Thethesisdemonstratesthatyouarecapableoffindingsolutionstosignificantproblems.Itshowsthatyoucanperformcriticalanalysisandmakesoundtechnicaldecisionsbasedonthefindings.Mostimportantly,thethesisisproofthatyoucandescribetheprojectrelatedactivitiesandresultsinawellwrittenscholarlypublication,whichisyourthesis.</p><p>1. YourthesisispublishedbytheCSUNLibrary.Itisavailableforinspectionbyanyone,throughouttheworld.Eachgraduatethesisbearsthesignatureofthisdepartment.Therefore,yourthesismustbewrittentoastandardconsistentwithpublishedtechnicalworkinprofessionalpublications,suchas:conferenceproceedings,SIGpublications,andscholarlyjournals.</p><p>2. Asuccessfuldemonstrationofthesoftwareproductyouhaveproducedisclearlyveryimportant;adefenseisnotcompletewithoutsuchademonstration.However,thedemonstrationisseenonlybythecommittee.Inreality,youearnyourdegreewiththethesis,notwiththedemonstration.Manystudentsspendmoretimeandenergyingettingthedemonstrationreadyandnotnearlyenoughinwritingthethesis.Thatisapoorchoicethatoftenresultsindelayedgraduation.Itisimportantthatyouscheduleenoughtimeforwritingthethesis.</p><p>3. Bythetimeyoustartwritingthethesis,youshouldhaveacquiredsufficientwritingskillsinEnglish.Thepreparationsection,onthefollowingpage,providessomeideasonhowyoumightaccomplishthis.</p><p>2. DISCLAIMER </p><p>ThisisaWorkinProgress(WIP)product;itisnotthefinalrelease.Whereas,theguidelinesinthisdocumentprovideusefulinformation,ithasnotyetbeenapprovedbythecomputersciencedepartment.Untilthisdocumentisapprovedandreleasedbythedepartment,pleaseseekguidanceandadvicefromyourcommitteechaironhowyoushouldwriteyourthesis.</p></li><li><p>GuidelinesonWritingaGraduateProjectThesis(DRAFTRev1June9,2011)</p><p>2</p><p>3. PREPARATION</p><p>1. Writingyourgraduateprojectthesisisnosimpletask.Ittakesmonthsofpreparationandmeticuloushardwork.Youneedtoworkcloselywithyourthesisadvisoringettingthethesisreadyforcommitteereviewanddefense.Itisnotuncommonforastudenttoproduce4to5draftsbeforearrivingatacopyreadyfordistributiontothecommittee.</p><p>2. ThethesismustbewritteningrammaticallycorrectEnglishandbeeasytoread.Donotexpectyourcommitteechairtocopyedityourwork.S/heistheretogiveyouguidanceontechnicalissuesonthesiswriting,suchas:thesisoutlineandtopicstobecovered.S/heisnottheretoprovideyoulessonsinwritingEnglish.Ifthedraftyousubmittothecommitteechairisnotofreviewablequality,thens/hemayreturnitforyoutoreviseandresubmit.</p><p>3. IfyouareanESLstudent,oryouneedtohoneyourwritingskills,thenconsidertakingwritingclasses.PassingtheUDWPEalonedoesnotprepareyouforwritingathesis.Seekoutclassesonwritingtechnicalpublications.Alsolookforonlineresourcesonthesiswriting.TheCSUNEnglishdepartmentprovidesindividual30minutewritingreviewsessionsonproperuseofgrammarandsentencestructure.Agraduatestudentcanbookonesuchreviewsessionperweek.CheckwiththewritinglabintheEnglishdepartment.Sometimes,youmayfindtutorswhowillcopyedityourworkforcorrectuseofEnglish.Donotasktherevieweroranyexternalconsultanttowritethethesisforyou.Thatconstitutesacademicdishonesty.Anylevelofacademicdishonestycanhavesevereconsequences,includingtheneedforyoutostartyourprojectoverwithonanewtopicandanewproposal.</p><p>4. Carefullyconsiderthewordprocessingandotherutilitytools,suchasgrammarandstylecheckers,thatyouwillbeusingtowritethethesis.Arrangetolearnthetechniquesforusingthetooleffectively.Toolissuesareaddressedfurtherinsection7.</p><p>4. FIRST, CREATE AN OUTLINE</p><p>1. Planoutthethesischaptersandcreateanoutlinelistingthechaptersyouwillhaveinthethesis.Asuggestedlistofchaptersappearsbelow.Thisispreliminary;youcanchangethechapterlistasthethesisdevelops.SuggestionsforwhatshouldbecoveredinthesechaptersappearinSection6,DETAILEDSTRUCTUREANDCONTENTSOFTHETHESIS.</p><p>1.1. Abstract:Asummaryoftheobjectivesandaccomplishments.Typically1pagelong.</p><p>1.2. Objectives:Describetheproblemthatyousetouttosolveandthesolutionsyouhaveachieved.</p><p>1.3. Introduction:Describethebackgroundoftheprojectwork.Establishthecontext.Discusswhythisproblemisimportant.Brieflydescribethedevelopmentprocessyouwillfollow.</p><p>1.4. LiteratureReview:Provideasurveyandacriticalreviewofrelatedpriorwork.</p></li><li><p>GuidelinesonWritingaGraduateProjectThesis(DRAFTRev1June9,2011)</p><p>3</p><p>1.5. AnalysisandRequirements:Describetheproblemanalysis,enhancedwithananalysismodelinUML.Specifytheresultingsetofsystemlevelandsoftwarelevelrequirements.</p><p>1.6. Design:DescribethearchitecturaldesignandthedetaileddesignenhancedwithUMLmodeldiagrams.Describeyourrationaleforthedesigndecisionswithsupportingdatacollectedfromtradeoffstudies.Describethespecifictoolsandtechniquesusedinsubchapters.</p><p>1.7. Implementation:Describetheimplementationapproach.Describesoftwarereuse,designpatterns,specialcodingtechniques,etc.Describespecialtoolsused,ifany.</p><p>1.8. Testing:Describethetestingapproach.Describesampletestplansandtestresults.</p><p>1.9. Toolsandtechnologies:Describethetoolsandtechnologiesusedinaccomplishingtheprojectinthecontextoftheprojectactivities.Thiscanbeintegratedintotopics1.5to1.8</p><p>1.10. Conclusions:</p><p>1.11. Appendices:</p><p>2. Getthethesisoutlineapprovedbyyourcommitteechair.</p><p>5. MASTERY</p><p>1. SuccessfulcompletionofagraduateProjectdemonstratesthatyouhavetheabilitytoanalyzeanddevelopsolutionstoaproblemofsignificantcomplexityandstature.TheworkyouundertakemustbeofmuchhigherdegreeofcomplexitythantheprojectsdoneinComp380,480,or490classes.Simplyproducingasoftwareapplication,usingarunofthemillmethodandanadhocprocess,doesnotdemonstratemasteryworthyofagraduateproject.Throughyourproject,youmustdemonstratemasteryofthecurrentsoftwareengineeringandcomputersciencedisciplines.Useofcurrenttechniquesandtechnologiesincompletingtheprojectworkisimportant.</p><p>2. Inwritingthethesis,youneedtodescribetheproblemsandthesolutionsinanorganizedandclearmanner.Youshouldusestandardsoftwareengineeringandcomputersciencenomenclature.Ifindoubt,consulttheIEEEStandardGlossaryofSoftwareEngineeringTerminology(No610.121990)ortheSoftwareEngineeringBookofKnowledge(SWEBOK).BoththesereferencesareavailableonlinethroughtheCSUNlibrary.</p><p>3. Today,UMLisacceptedasthemodelinglanguageofchoiceinbothcomputerscienceandsoftwareengineering.Therefore,useofstandardUMLisstronglyrecommended.Avoidusingyourownadhocdrawingconventions.IfyoudontknowUML,thenlearnit.Attendaclass,ortakeoneofthemanyonlinetutorialsavailableintheInternet.AtCSUN,UMLmodelingisintroducedinComp380;advancedUMLiscoveredinComp586.ProducemodelelementsthatadheretothecoreUMLsyntacticalandsemanticrules.Thiswillallowthereadertoreadandinterpretthemeaningsofthedrawingsintheanalysisanddesignmodels.</p></li><li><p>GuidelinesonWritingaGraduateProjectThesis(DRAFTRev1June9,2011)</p><p>4</p><p>4. Stronglyrecommendusingamodern,UMLcapableCASEtocreatetheUMLmodeldiagrams.ACASEtoolwillmakeiteasytocreatethemodeldiagrams,maintainaconsistentmodel,andwill(often)guardagainstbreakingUMLsyntacticalandsemanticrules.TherearemanyfreeCASEtoolsavailable,suchas:Visio2010viaMSDNAA,ArgoUML,VisualParadigm,andPoseidon.FindoneCASEtoolthatyoulike,learnitwell,anduseitcapturetheanalysisanddesignmodels.UseitasaCASEtool,notasadrawingtool,i.e.,followtherulesofUML.ManyCASEtoolsprovideacapabilityforgeneratingreportsdescribingthemodelinformationcapturedinthetool.Withsomeediting,youcanincorporatethesereportsintoyourthesis.</p><p>6. DETAILED STRUCTURE AND CONTENTS OF THETHESIS</p><p>Ingeneral,agraduatethesisshouldhavethefollowingchaptersandsections.Somechaptersaremandatory;otherswilldependuponthenatureofthework.Fillinthechaptersinthethesisoutlinethatyouhavealreadydeveloped,asdescribedinsection4.Eachchaptershouldelaborateononemajorconcept,suchaspriorwork,design,implementation,testing,toolsused,etc.</p><p>6.1. Abstract</p><p>Althoughitappearsfirst,planonwritingtheabstractlast.Theabstractisthehardestpartofthethesistowrite,anditisthepartmostreadersofthethesiswillreaditfirst.Theabstractshouldbeverywellwritten.Itshouldbeclear,easytoread,andtothepoint.Theabstractconveysthemostimportantmessagesregardingyourproject,suchas:whatyousetouttodo?Howdidyoudoit?Whatresultswereobtained?Youwillhaveamuchbettershotatwritingagoodabstractafteryouhavecompletedalltheotherpartsofthethesis.</p><p>6.2. TableofContents(TOC)</p><p>1. ThefollowingTOCsaremandatory.</p><p>1.1. GeneralTOC:listingchapters,sections,andsubsectionstothelowestlevels.</p><p>1.2. Listoffigures.</p><p>1.3. Listoftables.</p><p>2. ThepagenumbersineachTOCshouldbehyperlinkedtotheirtargets(sections,figures,tables).HyperlinkedpagenumbersshouldworkeveninaPDFformatdocument.IfyouareusingMicrosoftWord/OpenOfficeWriterthenstronglyrecommendusingtheTOCgenerationtool.</p><p>6.3. ChapteronIntroduction</p><p>1. Thischapterismandatoryand,ataminimum,shouldcoverthefollowingtopics:</p><p>1.1. Introducethereadertotheparticularproblemyourprojectisattemptingtosolve.Mostprojectshavemultipleobjectives.Foreaseofcrossreferencing,itisagoodideatostatetheseinanumberedlist.Therestofthethesisdescribeshowyouhaveaccomplishedwhatyouhavedescribedastheobjectives.</p></li><li><p>GuidelinesonWritingaGraduateProjectThesis(DRAFTRev1June9,2011)</p><p>5</p><p>1.2. Ingeneral,theobjectivesstatedinthethesisshouldmatchthosestatedintheprojectproposal.IftherearesubstantialdifferencesthenfilearevisedproposalwiththeGRIP.AlthoughtheGRIPproceduresdonotrequireit,youshouldadviseallcommitteemembersofthechangedproposal.</p><p>1.3. Setthescenebyprovidingabackgroundforthework.Whyisthisworkimportantorinteresting?</p><p>1.4. Writeasummaryoftheoverallapproach.Includebriefdescriptionsofthedevelopmentprocess,design,implementation,andtestingapproaches.</p><p>1.5. Thetoolsandtechnologiesyouusedshouldbementionedherebutdescribedanddiscussedinlater,inachapterdealingwiththetechnicaldetails.</p><p>1.6. Provideasynopsisofwhattheotherchapterscontain.Thesedescriptionsshouldbeverybrief,oneortwosentencesforeachchapter.</p><p>2. BythetimethereaderhasfinishedreadingtheIntroductions/heshouldhaveaclearunderstandingoftheproblemyousetouttoaddressandhowithasbeensolved.</p><p>6.4. ChapteronReviewofLiterature</p><p>1. ThischapterismandatoryandisdifferentfromthebackgroundprovidedintheIntroduction.Thebackgroundprovidesgeneralinformation.Theliteraturereviewfocusesonissuesthataremorespecificallyrelatedtotheworkinyourproject.</p><p>2. Describesimilarworkdonebyothersinthepastanddescribedintheliterature.Ifyoucannotfindpriorworkintheliterature,thenitismostlikelythattheworkyouaredescribingistoosimpletoqualifyasagraduateproject.</p><p>3. Yourthesisneedstodemonstratethatyouhavedonealiteraturesearchandcompletedacriticalanalysisoftherelevantliteraturedescribingpriorworkinthefield.Demonstratethisbywritingsomediscussionsonwhatothershavedone,whattheyhaveachieved,andlimitationsoftheirwork.Iftheyexist,thenprovidereviewsofpriorworkintheliterature,thisshowsthatyouhavedoneacomprehensiveliteraturesearch.</p><p>4. Donotcopyandpastetextfromtheliterature;paraphrasethecontentsinyourownwords.Referencesmustbecitedhereintheintroductionandeverywhereelseinthethesis.Donotjustprovideanumberlike[23].Saysomethingaboutthework.</p><p>Example:JonesandBartletreportsthatuseofAgileprocessesreducedmeandevelopmenttimeingraduateprojectsbyapproximately12%[23].Kissingeropinedthattheseresultsneedverificationwithawidersample.HepointedoutthattheJonesandBartletstudywasbasedonresultsfromonlysixprojects[32].AfollowonstudybyJonesandBartletincludedover30graduateprojectsandsubstantiatedtheresultsreportedintheoriginalstudy[24].AnindependentstudybyReifer,involving27industrialprojects,claimsdevelopmentcostsavingof13%attributabletotheuseofAgilemethods[42].</p></li><li><p>GuidelinesonWritingaGraduateProjectThesis(DRAFTRev1June9,2011)</p><p>6</p><p>6.5. TechnicalChapters</p><p>Ingeneral,thechaptersdescribedinthefollowingsubsectionsareexpectedinathesisdescribingagraduateproject.Someofthelistedchaptersmaynotbeapplicabletoyourthesis,andadditionalchapterscoveringspecialtopicsmaybeneeded.Seekguidancefromyourcommitteechaironthechaptersyourthesisshouldcontain.Agoodapproachistodescribeeachmajorconcept/taskinaseparatechapter,anddescribeminorrelatedconceptsinsections/subsectionswithinthechapters.</p><p>6.5.1. ChapteronDevelopmentProcess</p><p>Describethedevelopmentprocessyoufollowed.Todemonstrateyourmasteryinsoftwareengineeringandcomputerscience,yourprojectshouldfollowastandardsoftwaredevelopmentprocess,ratherthananundefinedoradhocprocess.Generally,aprocessframedontheagiledevelopmentphilosophyworkswellforgraduateprojectsinsoftwareengineeringandcomputerscience.Ifyouchooseanagileprocess,thenbesuretodescribetheprocessyoufollowedformakingthemultipledeliveriesanddemonstrationstoyourcommitteechairorresearchgroup.Doinganiterativedevelopmentandmakingmultipledeliveriesisakeypracticeinanyagileprocess;ifyoudidnotdothisthentheprocesscannotbecalledagile.</p><p>6.5.2. ChapteronAnalysisandRequirements</p><p>Describehowyoudidrequirementselicitation,conductedtheanalysis,andarrivedatthespecifiedrequirements.Provideanalysismodels,notjustwords.Somesuggestedmodelelementsare:usecases,activitydiagrams,sequencediagrams,anddomainmodels.Theanalysismodelsshouldexpressthesystemarchitectureandthetoplevelbehavioralrequirements.Dontprovideasuperficialmodelwithjustoneortwocontextlevelusecasediagrams.</p><p>6.5.3. ChapteronDesign</p><p>Generallydescribethearchitecturaldesignmodelandthedetaileddesignmodelinseparatechapters.Always,discussthealternativesconsideredandtherationaleforthechoosingthesolutionsyouadopted.Describethearchitecturalanddetaileddesignmodelsinadisciplinedmannerusingbothtextandcomprehensivedesignmodels,ideallyexpressedinUML.UseofUMLishighlyrecommendedoverusingadhocoroldermodelingnotations.SuggestedUMLdesignmodelelementsare:classdiagrams,interactiondiagrams,structuredclasses,components,subsystems,anddeploymentmodels.ProducethemodeldiagramswithamodernCASEtool,notdrawingtools.Provideacomprehensivedesignmodelwithsufficientdesigninformation,notjustoneortwotoplevelmodeldiagrams.Notethattodescribeadesignadequatelyyoumustdescribebothitsstaticviewandthedynamicview.Thestaticviewincludeselementssuchas:classeswithinheritanceandaggregation,structuredclasses,interfaces,components,subsystems,anddeployment.Thedynamicviewincludes:activitydiagrams,sequenceorcommunicationdiagrams,andthestatemodel,whenappropriate.Rememberthat,inmostprojects,thedesignmodelisthemainaspectofyourwork,anditdeservesagooddealofyourattention.</p></li><li><p>GuidelinesonWritingaGraduateProjectThesis(DRAFTRev1June9,2011)</p><p>7</p><p>6.5.4. ChapteronImplementation</p><p>Describetheoverallstrategyforimplementationtasks,suchasincrementalbuilds,riskmitigationmeasures.Discussthereasonswhyyouchosethespecificprogramminglanguage,developmenttools,testingtools,andtheimplementationplatform.Discussstrategiesforreuseofexistingproductsandcomponents.Useofdesignpatternsintheimplementationdemonstratessophisticationinthesubjectmatterandishighlyencouraged.Generally,youdonotneedtoprovidesourcecodeinthethesis,unlessthatcodeiscentraltoyourthesis,e.g.ifyoucreatednewdesignpatternsandneedtodescribethelogicofthosedesignpatternsusingcode.However...</p></li></ul>