COMP390/393/394/395: Conduct

Stages in the project

An outline of the milestones throughout the project is given in the Calendar section. Based on these, you should divide your time appropriately to make sure you successfully complete each of the stages. The following distribution of time is given as a guide.

1 week. Deciding on the project you will do.

2 weeks. Laying the foundations of your project: making precise the aims and objectives of your project; identifying and starting to absorb the information you need; defining the deliverables of your project; deciding on a methodology which you will follow; and producing a detailed plan of how the project will be conducted.

5 weeks. Doing the design for your project. This period will be spent completing the reading identified in the previous stage, and coming up with detailed designs to be implemented in the realisation phase. If you are producing a piece of software, the detailed design should be carried out in this period. All aspects of the system - overall architecture, data structures, algorithms and interface - should be designed according to your chosen methodology, and all these aspects should be fully documented. During this phase you will probably consider alternative ways of approaching the problems, and choose the one which you will follow. You may wish to do some experimental coding to clarify these choices. By the end of this phase you should be clear both as to what you will be implementing and how you will implement it. You should also have given thought to how you will test and evaluate what you will do in the next phase.

11 weeks. In this phase you will realise the design you have produced. During this period you should carry out your software implementation, test the software, conduct any necessary experiments, and perform the evaluation of what you have done. You should use the last two weeks of the first semester to start the implementation and identify any early issues and discuss them with your Supervisor. You will possibly work less on the project during the holidays while you revise for your exams. Half way through the realisation period you should submit a short progress report to your Supervisor, so that progress can be assessed, and remedial action taken if necessary.

3 weeks. After you have demonstrated your software you will need to write up your project. Producing the final report is a substantial task, and the time is needed. During this period you may find it helpful to discuss an outline of your report, in the form of a table of contents, with your supervisor, and to show your supervisor a draft of your report to get feedback on what you have done.

After completion. Archiving your work - source code, tools, documentation and reports - in such a way that they can be used in future work is good practice. You should discuss these aspects with your supervisor earlier, when you discuss the draft final report.