How to Read Research Papers Xiao Qin Department

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How to Read Research Papers? Xiao Qin Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering

How to Read Research Papers? Xiao Qin Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering Auburn University http: //www. eng. auburn. edu/[email protected] edu Some slides are adapted from notes by Nitin H. Vaidya at the University of Illinois at 1 Urbana-Champaign

Three Steps in a Research Project Identify a Problem Solve the Problem: a solution

Three Steps in a Research Project Identify a Problem Solve the Problem: a solution Present the solution Slide 2 of 38

Why read papers? • To know what’s happening • Avoid reinventing the wheel –

Why read papers? • To know what’s happening • Avoid reinventing the wheel – does happen commonly, too many wheels already • Find interesting research topics • Write a good “related work” section Slide 3 of 38

Why not to read papers? • Cannot read everything • Should not read everything

Why not to read papers? • Cannot read everything • Should not read everything • Can suppress innovation – once you see solutions using a particular theme, often hard to think differently Slide 4 of 38

Read or not to read, that is the question • Read, of course •

Read or not to read, that is the question • Read, of course • Know what’s important • Know what can be ignored without significant loss of information Slide 5 of 38

Where to search? • When I was a Master’s student… • When I was

Where to search? • When I was a Master’s student… • When I was a doctoral student… • Now… ‹#› Slide 6 of 38

Where to search papers? (1) • IEEEXplore • ACM Digital Library ‹#› Slide 7

Where to search papers? (1) • IEEEXplore • ACM Digital Library ‹#› Slide 7 of 38

Where to search papers? (2) • Google Scholar • Personal Web Pages ‹#› Slide

Where to search papers? (2) • Google Scholar • Personal Web Pages ‹#› Slide 8 of 38

Where to search papers? (3) • Top Conference Proceedings AREA: System Technology Premium: SOSP:

Where to search papers? (3) • Top Conference Proceedings AREA: System Technology Premium: SOSP: ACM SIGOPS Symp on OS Principles OSDI: Usenix Symp. OS Design and Implementation Leading: ICPP: Intl Conf on Parallel Processing ICDCS: IEEE Intl Conf. Distr. Comp Systems Reputable: GLOBECOM: Global Comm ICCC: Intl Conf on Comp Communication Slide 9 of 38

Where to search papers? (4) • Top Journals AREA: System Technology Premium: Jnl of

Where to search papers? (4) • Top Journals AREA: System Technology Premium: Jnl of Parallel and Distributed Computing IEEE Trans on Parallel and Distributed Systems Distributed Computing Leading: Jnl of Network and Computer Applications Parallel Computing Reputable: ACM Mobile Computing and Communicatons Review Intl Jnl of High Speed Computing Slide 10 of 38

What to read? • Major conferences – Journals are a few years behind, but

What to read? • Major conferences – Journals are a few years behind, but still can be useful • Tech reports from active research groups – need to know which groups to look up • Survey / overview papers – ACM Computing Surveys – CACM, IEEE Computer, Spectrum – more technical - IEEE Personal Communications, … – newsletters - ACM SIGCOMM, ACM SIGMOBILE, . . . Slide 11 of 38

Manage References Slide 12 of 38

Manage References Slide 12 of 38

References Management Software Biblio. Express Slide 13 of 38

References Management Software Biblio. Express Slide 13 of 38

References Management Software • • End. Note Web Zotero Ref. Works Reference Manager Mendeley

References Management Software • • End. Note Web Zotero Ref. Works Reference Manager Mendeley See Comparison at: http: //workspace. imperial. ac. uk/library/Public/Reference_m anagement_software_comparison. pdf Slide 14 of 38

What’s in a paper [see also how to write papers: http: //www. auburn. edu/~xzq

What’s in a paper [see also how to write papers: http: //www. auburn. edu/~xzq 0001/Write. Papers-Part 1. ppt] • • • Abstract Introduction Motivation Problem description Solution. . . Performance Analysis Conclusions Future Work Slide 15 of 38

How to read a paper? Three levels Know why you want to read the

How to read a paper? Three levels Know why you want to read the paper • To know what’s going on (e. g. , scanning proceedings) – title, authors, abstract • Papers in your broad research area – introduction, motivation, solution description, summary, conclusions – sometimes reading more details useful, but not always • Papers you may want to improve on – read entire paper carefully Slide 16 of 38

What to note? • Authors and research group – Need to know where to

What to note? • Authors and research group – Need to know where to look for a paper on particular topic • Theme of the solution – Should be able to go back to the paper if you need more info • Approach to performance evaluation • Note any shortcomings Slide 17 of 38

So this paper is in print. . . • Be skeptical • If it

So this paper is in print. . . • Be skeptical • If it sounds too good to be true, it often is …… Slide 18 of 38

More Advice … Slide 19 of 38

More Advice … Slide 19 of 38

Three phases to reading • Determine if there is anything interesting at all in

Three phases to reading • Determine if there is anything interesting at all in the paper. • Determine which portion of the paper contains the interesting stuff. • Should I read the whole paper? – Read the whole paper if necessary. Slide 20 of 38

Is there anything interesting? • Ideally, the abstract should tell you this, but frequently

Is there anything interesting? • Ideally, the abstract should tell you this, but frequently it does not. • Need to jump about – Read conclusion – Read introduction – Look at the bibliography – Glance at the TOC – Table of Content (if any) Slide 21 of 38

Which portion contains interesting stuff? • A paper typically outlines its organization at the

Which portion contains interesting stuff? • A paper typically outlines its organization at the end of the introduction. – Use this to determine which portion contains the exciting stuff. • Quickly scan the titles of each sections in the paper. Slide 22 of 38

Read the whole paper • Read with the following questions in mind – How

Read the whole paper • Read with the following questions in mind – How can I use this stuff? – Does this really do what the author claims to do? – What if the assumptions and choices that the author made are discarded (or made invalid)? – Is source code available? – More questions …… Slide 23 of 38

Context and problem statement • What problems are the author trying to solve or

Context and problem statement • What problems are the author trying to solve or trying to convince you of? • Are they important problems? – Why not? • What is the author’s thesis? Slide 24 of 38

Related work evaluation • Does the author describe other work in the field? •

Related work evaluation • Does the author describe other work in the field? • If so, how does this research differ from the other work? Slide 25 of 38

New idea • What new idea is the author proposing? – Architecture – Algorithm

New idea • What new idea is the author proposing? – Architecture – Algorithm – Mechanism – Methodology – Perspective • Is the idea useful and practical? 26 Slide 26 of 38

What to evaluate? • What need to be evaluated to confirm the worthiness of

What to evaluate? • What need to be evaluated to confirm the worthiness of the new idea? – Runtime – Throughput – Resource utilization – Model validation 27 Slide 27 of 38

How to evaluate? • How did the author go about conducting the evaluation? –

How to evaluate? • How did the author go about conducting the evaluation? – Formalize and prove theorems – Run simulations – Artifact design and construction – Collect traces from existing systems Slide 28 of 38

Was the evaluation correct and adequate? • How was the data collection done? •

Was the evaluation correct and adequate? • How was the data collection done? • Do you agree with the analysis of data? • Do you agree with the conclusions about the data? • Do you have any new interpretation of the data? • Can you suggest new ways to evaluate the data? Slide 29 of 38

Assumptions, drawbacks and extensions • Can you think of other aspects of the idea

Assumptions, drawbacks and extensions • Can you think of other aspects of the idea that need to be evaluated? • Can you think of extensions or modifications to the idea to improve it? • How would you evaluate your improvement? Slide 30 of 38

Assumptions, drawbacks and extensions • Can you apply the idea or method of evaluation

Assumptions, drawbacks and extensions • Can you apply the idea or method of evaluation to your own project? • Do the authors make any assumptions that are not valid or realistic? • Can you come up with a more general solution that does not rely on one or more of the assumptions? Slide 31 of 38

Future work • Does the author indicate how the work should be followed up

Future work • Does the author indicate how the work should be followed up on? • Does the paper generate new ideas? • Does the paper implicitly or explicitly provide a new way of doing other things or of thinking about problems? Slide 32 of 38

Summary If you remember nothing else: • Where to search papers • Scan papers

Summary If you remember nothing else: • Where to search papers • Scan papers • Read papers with questions in mind Slide 33 of 38

Download the presentation slides http: //www. slideshare. net/xqin 74 Google: slideshare Xiao Qin Slide

Download the presentation slides http: //www. slideshare. net/xqin 74 Google: slideshare Xiao Qin Slide 34 of 38

Further Research http: //www. eng. auburn. edu/~xqin Slide 35 of 38

Further Research http: //www. eng. auburn. edu/~xqin Slide 35 of 38

My webpage http: //www. eng. auburn. edu/~xqin Slide 36 of 38

My webpage http: //www. eng. auburn. edu/~xqin Slide 36 of 38

Download Slides at slideshare http: //www. slideshare. net/xqin 74 Slide 37 of 38

Download Slides at slideshare http: //www. slideshare. net/xqin 74 Slide 37 of 38

Questions Slide 38 of 38

Questions Slide 38 of 38