Course Project Requirements

You will divide into teams of two or three to carry out the course project. Your term project can be any of the following types: design/implementation, measurement studies and analysis, and simulation studies. The goal of the project is to experiment with new research ideas and solutions. Previous projects from similar courses have resulted in several publications at top conferences and workshops, and you should aim for a project of similar quality.

Here are some examples of previous course projects that resulted in publications. These papers should give you a rough idea of the type of ideas and the amount of work that is involved.  Note that several (most) of the papers resulted in some additional quarters of follow-on work after the end of the quarter.

  • Privacy, Availability and Economics in the Polaris Mobile Social Network
    Christo Wilson, Troy Steinbauer, Gang Wang, Alessandra Sala, Haitao Zheng, and Ben Y. Zhao
    Proceedings of ACM Workshop on Mobile Computing Systems and Applications (HotMobile 2011), (PDF)
    Note: project continued for multiple quarters
  • Exploiting Locality of Interest in Online Social Networks
    Mike P. Wittie, Veljko Pejovic, Lara Deek, Kevin Almeroth, and Ben Y. Zhao
    Proceedings of 6th International Conference on emerging Networking EXperiments and Technologies (CoNEXT 2010), (PDF)
    Note: project continued for multiple quarters
  • User Interactions in Social Networks and their Implications
    Christo Wilson, Bryce Boe, Alessandra Sala, Krishna P. N. Puttaswamy and Ben Y. Zhao
    Proceedings of ACM EuroSys 2009, (PDF)
    Note: project continued for multiple quarters
  • QUORUM - QUality Of service RoUting in wireless Mesh networks
    Vinod Kone, Sudipto Das, Ben Y. Zhao and Haitao Zheng
    Proceedings of QShine 2007  (PDF)
    Note: project continued for multiple quarters
  • Fairness Attacks in the Explicit Control Protocol
    Christo Wilson, Chris Coakley and Ben Y. Zhao
    Proceedings of IEEE IWQoS 2007 (PDF)
  • Parallelizing Skyline Queries for Scalable Distribution
    Ping Wu, Caijie Zhang, Ying Feng, Ben Y. Zhao, Divyakant Agrawal and Amr El Abbadi
    Proceedings of the International Conference on Extending Database Technology (EDBT) 2006 (PDF)
    Note: project continued for multiple quarters

I will distribute a list of possible research projects in class. However, you are strongly encouraged to come up with your own project ideas. The TAs and I will be very happy to discuss your ideas and make comments/suggestions.

Project proposal

Once you decide on your project, you will be asked to write a one page project proposal that should clearly state:

  • the problem you are solving (along w/ background and related works)
  • motivations (if this is your own idea) and challenges; why is this problem important and difficult?
  • your proposed solution or approach and why it's new,
  • your plan of attack with milestones and dates, and
  • any resources you might need so we can take care of this early on in the semester.
The proposal should be 1-2 pages (in most cases, 1 page will be sufficient). Please email it to your TA and CC me. The proposal should be either a Text file, or a PDF. No other formats are acceptable. Proposals are *graded* on completeness, will be a part of your overall project grade. They must be received by both your TA and I by 11:59PM to be considered handed in. Only one person per project team should submit, and he/she should "cc" all other project team members.

Note that there will be two versions of the proposal. Proposal v1 will be due on the evening of Monday 10/17. I will provide written feedback on the project proposals via email. Feel free to drop by office hours to discuss and develop your project ideas further. Project v2 is the revised, more detailed and more thought-out version, to be submitted one week later, on the evening of Monday 10/24.

Mid-quarter project presentation

Each project team will give a mid-quarter progress presentation to the entire class on Wednesday 11/9. Each presentation will give the audience a quick idea of the project motivations, mechanisms, and current progress made by the team. The total presentation will be roughly 10 minutes (this number might change depending on the number of final project teams formed).

Final project report

The final project report should not exceed 6 two-column pages using 10pt fonts. The content should be similar to a workshop publication based on your project (see above for some example papers if you're unsure what I mean). Make sure you include enough detail for me to understand all of your design and experimental evaluation decisions. I will grade your final report according to the same standards that one would review a paper submission for a top workshop.

Also, please hand in a tar.gz of all your source code as well. Both the report and source code should be submitted to me via email at or before 11:59PM on Monday night (12/5). Please make sure the email subject starts with "CS276".