Problem Formulation

Dilum Bandara
Dilum BandaraResearch Scientist at Data61, CSIRO
CS3962 Research and Report Writing
Dilum Bandara, PhD
Formulating a
Research Problem
2
Research Problem
▪ A clear statement of what challenge/problem
you are trying to address
▪ Better if it addresses a felt need
–Can do just for a fun of doing research
▪ If you clearly understand the problem, half the
problem is solved
3
Problem Formulation
Identify
• Felt Need
• Experiences
• Literature
• Forums
Define
• What?
• Why?
• How?
• Scope
Discuss
• Supervisor
• Friends
• Meetings,
conferences
4
Characteristics of a Good Problem
▪ Interesting
–Keep researcher interested in it throughout the
research process
–Will it lead to generation of new knowledge,
understanding, or tools?
–What others think about it?
▪ Relevant
–Is the problem significant enough in today’s context?
▪ Clear (unambiguous)
–Has well defined boundaries & assumptions
5
Characteristics (Cont.)
▪ Researchable
–Can be accomplished using a scientific method
▪ Right balance between Research & Development
–At BSc level R can be small & D can large
–Manageable/feasible/practical
–Fits the level of researcher’s skill set
–Time, resources, tools
▪ Low Risk Low Gain vs. High Risk High Gain
–Is it free of unknown hazards/dangers?
▪ Ethical
6
10 Commandments for Picking a
Research Project – Susan Furth, MD/PhD
1. Anticipate results before doing the study
2. Pick an area on the basis of interest of the
outcome
3. Look for an under occupied niche that has
potential
4. Go to talks & read papers outside your area
of interest
5. Build on a theme
7
10 Commandments (Cont.)
6. Find a balance between low-risk & high-risk
projects
7. Be prepared to pursue a project to any depth
necessary
8. Differentiate yourself from your mentor
9. Don’t assume that empirical research is easier
than fundamental research
10.Focus, focus, focus
8
Problem Statement
▪ Address following 3 questions in a suitable
order
– What are you planning to do?
– Why is it important?
– How are you planning to do it?
▪ Write a single paragraph
▪ Refine it as you understand the problem better
9
Problem Statement – Examples
▪ To develop a peer-assisted software patch distribution system to share
patches or updates in P2P style without being exposed to potential
attackers.
▪ Auto-scale computing resources in a PaaS cloud environment based on
current workload and resource usage, while predicting the workload to
reduce cost and to meet desired QoS and SLA goals.
▪ Given a set of drivers D and jobs J, how to automatically schedule drivers
while maximizing customer satisfaction, efficiency, profit, and driver
satisfaction?
▪ To describe the types of incentives provides by IT companies to their
employees.
▪ To find out the opinion of the employees about the fitness & health
facilities provided by local IT industry.
▪ To ascertain the impact of training on employee retention.
▪ To compare the effectiveness of different loyalty programs on repeat
clientele.
10
Pitching Research Problem
▪ Elevator Pitch
–Short speech or conversation
–Make listener want to hear more
–Secure an invitation for a longer
conversation
–See resources on LMS
▪ Why at BSc?
–Enable you to formulate a clear
research problem
–Should be understood by a listener
with a basic background in related
areas
–Pitch your next business idea
11
Resources
▪ Starting your research
–http://dilum.bandara.lk/resources/starting-your-research/
▪ Elevator Pitch
–https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6O98o2FRHw
–https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tq0tan49rmc
–https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SI8XOGubJyY
12
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Problem Formulation

  • 1. CS3962 Research and Report Writing Dilum Bandara, PhD Formulating a Research Problem
  • 2. 2
  • 3. Research Problem ▪ A clear statement of what challenge/problem you are trying to address ▪ Better if it addresses a felt need –Can do just for a fun of doing research ▪ If you clearly understand the problem, half the problem is solved 3
  • 4. Problem Formulation Identify • Felt Need • Experiences • Literature • Forums Define • What? • Why? • How? • Scope Discuss • Supervisor • Friends • Meetings, conferences 4
  • 5. Characteristics of a Good Problem ▪ Interesting –Keep researcher interested in it throughout the research process –Will it lead to generation of new knowledge, understanding, or tools? –What others think about it? ▪ Relevant –Is the problem significant enough in today’s context? ▪ Clear (unambiguous) –Has well defined boundaries & assumptions 5
  • 6. Characteristics (Cont.) ▪ Researchable –Can be accomplished using a scientific method ▪ Right balance between Research & Development –At BSc level R can be small & D can large –Manageable/feasible/practical –Fits the level of researcher’s skill set –Time, resources, tools ▪ Low Risk Low Gain vs. High Risk High Gain –Is it free of unknown hazards/dangers? ▪ Ethical 6
  • 7. 10 Commandments for Picking a Research Project – Susan Furth, MD/PhD 1. Anticipate results before doing the study 2. Pick an area on the basis of interest of the outcome 3. Look for an under occupied niche that has potential 4. Go to talks & read papers outside your area of interest 5. Build on a theme 7
  • 8. 10 Commandments (Cont.) 6. Find a balance between low-risk & high-risk projects 7. Be prepared to pursue a project to any depth necessary 8. Differentiate yourself from your mentor 9. Don’t assume that empirical research is easier than fundamental research 10.Focus, focus, focus 8
  • 9. Problem Statement ▪ Address following 3 questions in a suitable order – What are you planning to do? – Why is it important? – How are you planning to do it? ▪ Write a single paragraph ▪ Refine it as you understand the problem better 9
  • 10. Problem Statement – Examples ▪ To develop a peer-assisted software patch distribution system to share patches or updates in P2P style without being exposed to potential attackers. ▪ Auto-scale computing resources in a PaaS cloud environment based on current workload and resource usage, while predicting the workload to reduce cost and to meet desired QoS and SLA goals. ▪ Given a set of drivers D and jobs J, how to automatically schedule drivers while maximizing customer satisfaction, efficiency, profit, and driver satisfaction? ▪ To describe the types of incentives provides by IT companies to their employees. ▪ To find out the opinion of the employees about the fitness & health facilities provided by local IT industry. ▪ To ascertain the impact of training on employee retention. ▪ To compare the effectiveness of different loyalty programs on repeat clientele. 10
  • 11. Pitching Research Problem ▪ Elevator Pitch –Short speech or conversation –Make listener want to hear more –Secure an invitation for a longer conversation –See resources on LMS ▪ Why at BSc? –Enable you to formulate a clear research problem –Should be understood by a listener with a basic background in related areas –Pitch your next business idea 11
  • 12. Resources ▪ Starting your research –http://dilum.bandara.lk/resources/starting-your-research/ ▪ Elevator Pitch –https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6O98o2FRHw –https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tq0tan49rmc –https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SI8XOGubJyY 12

Editor's Notes

  1. Charles "Boss" Kettering[1] was an American inventor, engineer, businessman, and the holder of 186 patents