CS 8317 (Spring 2022): Course Project

Prof. Jeff Tian (tian@engr.smu.edu)

Project assignment

You project is the most important part of your CS 8317. It demonstrates 1) your mastery and deep understanding of the course material and 2) your ability to apply newly acquired knowledge/skills in solving a practical problem and/or to conduct individual original research on a relevant topic. It will consist of the following three parts: The details are given below.

Acceptable types of projects

The project will be an application of a specific technique (could be a new one created/developed/improved/perfected by you through your original research) in software reliability engineering or software safety engineering discussed in class and a report of the experience and related (new) findings. Alternatively, but probably less likely, it can be an original research on a topic related to SRE or SSE, similar to one that can be a (draft) paper publishable in a relevant conference or even a professional journal (see for example, many of the papers we will study in our class).

As a concrete example of a project, you may collect testing data from one of your company's project, fit various reliability models to assess the product reliability, reliability change/growth, test effectiveness, and identify problematic areas for focused reliability/quality/productivity improvement.

Another example is a comprehensive analysis (FTA, ETA, FMEA, etc.) of some (potential) safety problems in the embedded system you are working on, and a plan to address those problems via various safety assurance techniques applied to pre-release software development or post-release in-field support.

Sometimes, a "mixed" type of project may also be possible. For example, you may perform some details defect analysis that may support both SRE and SSE related activities, or extension of SRE and/SSE to include not only reliability and/or safety aspects (which should still be the focus in this case) but also other quality/dependability aspects such as usability, availability, security, etc.

In performing the above tasks, you might be required to do some individual research by searching through technical literature to find relevant papers and study them, with the ultimate goal of adopting/adapting/developing some relevant models/techniques covered in those papers, or even create/develop your own (with good results, that would definitely be worth publishing! -- see the comments about original research project above).

Individual or team project:

Students may form a team to do a project if it is of a larger scale/scope that requires team effort (must be well justified). However, given the limited time to do the project, it is highly unlikely that a project in the scope that requires a team of 3 or more members is realistic for our class.

Project Proposal

You project proposal should be around 3-5 double spaced pages in length, and should include the following information: In case of a group project, please also provide information regarding roles and responsibilities.

Project presentation

To be given in one of the last two classes (4/15/2022 or 4/29/2022).

Project report

A project report should be around 15 double-spaced pages in length, and clearly and comprehensively describes the background, problem, strategy, activities, results, result analysis, lessons learned, followup actions, and summary/conclusions. A high level (executive) summary or an abstract must be included at the beginning of your report.

The most recent papers from our research group available on Canvas can serve as examples/samples of your project report.

Prepared by Jeff Tian (tian@engr.smu.edu).
Posted: March 17, 2022. Last update: March 17, 2022.

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