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How to Write a Research Paper in Computer Science

How to Write a Research Paper in Computer Science 28
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How to Write a Research Paper in Computer Science Compiled by Christoph Wernhard International Center for Computational Logic Technische Universitat ¨ Dresden Germany Version: 6 October 2014 16:00 I Sources, Literature and Links I Preliminary Note: The Idea of Formalized Scientific Knowledge I I: The Structure of a Research Paper I II: Miscellanous Important Points I III: Important Points in Mathematical Writing I IV: Citations and Bibliography I V: Criteria for Assessing the Quality of the Presentation I Summary Compiled by Christoph Wernhard How to Write a Research Paper in Computer Science 1Sources, Literature and Links I Alan Bundy: How to Write an Informatics Paper http://homepages.inf.ed.ac.uk/bundy/how-tos/writingGuide.html I Donald E. Knuth, Tracy Larrabee, and Paul M. Roberts: Mathematical Writing Research Report, Stanford University http://www-cs-faculty.stanford.edu/ knuth/papers/cs1193.pdf Video tapes: http://scpd.stanford.edu/knuth/index.jsp A I Instructions for Authors, LT X 2 class for Lecture Notes in Computer Science " E http://www.springer.com/lncs I Alan Bundy: Notes to CADE-12 Referees (1997) http://homepages.inf.ed.ac.uk/bundy/how-tos/referee-notes.pdf Compiled by Christoph Wernhard How to Write a Research Paper in Computer Science 2Preliminary Note: The Idea of Formalized Scientific Knowledge Definition 1 8x8y subset(x;y) 8z z2 x z2 y. def Definition 2 8x8y8z x2 union(y;z) x2 y_x2 z. def Theorem 1 8x8y subset(x; union(x;y)). Proof 1. 8x8y subset(x; union(x;y)) theorem statement 2. iff 8z z2 x z2 union(x;y) expanding Def. 1 3. iff 8z z2 x z2 x_z2 y expanding Def. 2 4. iff true. logical equivalence Theorem 2 8x subset(x; union(x;x)). Proof Follows immediately from Theorem 1. Theoretical Research Practical Research I Definitions introduce concepts I Techniques or systems are defined I Theorems make claims about concepts I Hypotheses make claims I Proofs verify theorems I Empirical evaluation A network emerges, created by many people over a long period of time Compiled by Christoph Wernhard How to Write a Research Paper in Computer Science 3Part I: The Structure of a Research Paper I The Importance of Hypotheses I Default Structure of an Experimental Research Paper . Title and Abstract . Introduction . Optional Introductory Sections . Optional Sections of the Main Part . Theorem Terminology . The Evaluation . Optional Sections of the Concluding Part . Conclusion . Appendices I Excercise Compiled by Christoph Wernhard How to Write a Research Paper in Computer Science 4The Importance of Hypotheses I It is not enough to describe some new technique or system, some claim about it must be stated and evaluated I In experimental research, hypotheses typically take one of these two forms: . Technique/system X automates task Y for the first time . Technique/system X automates task Y better, along some dimension, than each of its rivals, where the dimensions are typically: II Behavior: X has a higher success rate or produces better quality outputs than Y II Coverage: X is applicable to a wider range of examples then Y II Efficiency: X is faster or uses less space then Y II Dependability: X is more reliable, safe or secure than its rivals II Maintainability: X is easier to adapt and extend than its rivals II Usability: Users find X easier to use than its rivals I In theoretical papers, the hypotheses are the statements of theorems and the supporting evidence is their proofs Compiled by Christoph Wernhard How to Write a Research Paper in Computer Science 5Default Structure of an Experimental Research Paper I Title I Abstract I Introduction I Literature Survey I Background I Notation and Preliminaries I Theory I Specification I Implementation I Evaluation I Related Work I Further Work I Conclusion I Appendices Compiled by Christoph Wernhard How to Write a Research Paper in Computer Science 6Title and Abstract I Title . summarizes the hypothesis of the paper The reader should be able to work out what the paper is about from the title I Abstract . states the hypothesis . summarises the evidence that supports or refute it . mentions the key contributions of the paper Most readers will not read beyond the abstract Compiled by Christoph Wernhard How to Write a Research Paper in Computer Science 7Introduction I Motivates the contribution of the paper I Places it in context I Questions to be addressed in a succinct and informal manner: . What is the problem? . Why is the problem important? . What has so far been done on the problem? . What is the contribution of the paper on the problem? . Is the contribution original? Explain why . Is the contribution non-trivial? Explain why I Ends with a short summary of the rest of the paper The rest of the paper is structured as follows: In Section 2 we ... Compiled by Christoph Wernhard How to Write a Research Paper in Computer Science 8Optional Introductory Sections I Literature Survey . is a broad and shallow account of the field, which helps to place the contribution of the paper in context II What are the rival approaches? II What are the drawbacks of each? II How has the battle between different approaches progressed? II What are the major outstanding problems? (This is where you come in) I Background . describes previous work in more technical detail . as far as needed for a proper understanding of the contribution of the paper I Notation and Preliminaries Compiled by Christoph Wernhard How to Write a Research Paper in Computer Science 9Optional Sections of the Main Part I Theory . describes the underlying theory of techniques or system . where appropriate, uses a mathematical style of definitions, lemmas, propositions, theorems, corollaries, remarks . illustrates the main definitions and theorems with simple but meaningful examples I Specification . formally specifies techniques that underlie the implementation . states the requirements of the implementation I Implementation . describes only the final state of the implementation . identifies the major design decisions and gives their reasons . describes the overall structure of the system and key algorithms in abstract form . illustrates the main algorithms with simple but meaningful examples Compiled by Christoph Wernhard How to Write a Research Paper in Computer Science 10Theorem Terminology I Definition A statement (definiens) that specifies the meaning of a term (definiendum) I Theorem A statement that follows from definitions and other theorems . Comes in different kinds, distinguished by role; Distinction is often blurred II Theorem (in the narrow sense) Important theorem, a result of the paper II Lemma Important stepping stone used to prove important theorems II Proposition Theorem of no particular importance (e.g., stating a property of a concept) II Corrollary Theorem that follows with little of no proof from a definition or theorem I Proof I Remark Can be used to introduce implicit preconditions, introduce ways of speaking, clarify properties I Example Compiled by Christoph Wernhard How to Write a Research Paper in Computer Science 11The Evaluation I Gathers evidence to support or refute the hypothesis . Technique/system X automates task Y for the first time . Technique/system X automates task Y better, along some dimension, than each of its rivals, where the dimensions are typically: II Behavior: X has a higher success rate or produces better quality outputs than Y II Coverage: X is applicable to a wider range of examples then Y II Efficiency: X is faster or uses less space then Y II Dependability: X is more reliable, safe or secure than its rivals II Maintainability: X is easier to adapt and extend than its rivals II Usability: Users find X easier to use than its rivals I Experimental results are often best presented graphically Compiled by Christoph Wernhard How to Write a Research Paper in Computer Science 12Optional Sections of the Concluding Part I Related Work . compares narrow but deeply between system X and its main rivals at their critical points of difference . belongs “logically” to the evaluation since it establishes the originality of the contribution . is different in purpose, position, breadth and depth from the literature survey I Further Work . describes future research and new directions suggested by the contribution . in particular, research that would improve the evidence for/against the hypothesis Compiled by Christoph Wernhard How to Write a Research Paper in Computer Science 13Conclusion I Summarizes the research and discusses its significance . The hypothesis and the evidence for and against it are briefly restated . The original motivation is recapitulated . The state of the field in the light of this new contribution is reassessed Compiled by Christoph Wernhard How to Write a Research Paper in Computer Science 14Appendices I Provide information whose inclusion could assist the reader in understanding or assessing the research, but . would detract from the flow of the main body of the paper . does not fit into a prescribed page number I Contain for example . a glossary of technical terms . technical background that only some readers may require . examples of program code . a trace of the program on one or more examples . more details of the examples evaluated and the experimental results . the full versions of proofs . an index Compiled by Christoph Wernhard How to Write a Research Paper in Computer Science 15Conclusion: Default Structure of an Experimental Research Paper I Title I Abstract I Introduction I Literature Survey I Background I Notation and Preliminaries I Theory I Specification I Implementation I Evaluation I Related Work I Further Work I Conclusion I Appendices Compiled by Christoph Wernhard How to Write a Research Paper in Computer Science 16Exercise I Inspect some papers from your field with respect to the presented issues: . What is the hypothesis? II How is it expressed? . What are the key contributions of the paper? II How and where are they expressed? II Do they seem original and non-trivial? . What is the context of the paper? II How is the paper placed into it? . How are the claims made in the paper evaluated? Compiled by Christoph Wernhard How to Write a Research Paper in Computer Science 17Part II: Miscellaneous Important Points I Capitalization and Non-Capitalization I Abbreviations, References to Numbered Items I Your Assertions must be True and Verifiable I General Hints Compiled by Christoph Wernhard How to Write a Research Paper in Computer Science 18Capitalization and Non-Capitalization I Depends on the style, here we consider LNCS I The following should always be capitalized: . All words in headings except, unless at the beginning: II conjunctions, prepositions on, of, by, and, or, but, from, with, without, under, ... II definite and indefinite articles the, a, an . Expressions with numbers such as Table 5, Sect. 2, Theorem 2 I The following should not be capitalized: . The words figure(s), table(s), equation(s), theorem(s) in the text without accompanying number . Figure legends and table captions except for names and abbreviations Compiled by Christoph Wernhard How to Write a Research Paper in Computer Science 19Abbreviations, References to Numbered Items I If abbreviations of names or concepts are used throughout the text, they should be defined at first occurrence The Davis-Putnam-Logeman-Loveland Procedure (DPLL) is a ... I Chap(s)., Sect(s)., Fig(s). should always be abbreviated unless at beginning of sentence (in LNCS style) I Ensure that expressions like “formulaF” or “Sect. 1” are not disrupted by a line break: “formula˜ F”, “Sect.˜nreffsec-introductiong”. Compiled by Christoph Wernhard How to Write a Research Paper in Computer Science 20