How to read papers

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  • How many of you feel that reading too many papers can suppress innovation?
  • How to read papers

    1. 1. How to Read Research Papers?<br />Xiao Qin<br />Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering<br />Auburn Universityhttp://www.eng.auburn.edu/~xqin<br />xqin@auburn.edu<br />Some slides are adapted from notes by Nitin H. Vaidya at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign<br />1<br />
    2. 2. Three Steps in a Research Project<br />Identify a Problem<br />Solve the Problem: a solution<br />Present the solution <br />
    3. 3. Why read papers?<br />To know what’s happening<br />Avoid reinventing the wheel <br />does happen commonly, <br /> too many wheels already<br />Find interesting research topics<br />Write a good “related work” section<br />
    4. 4. Why not to read papers?<br />Cannot read everything<br />Should not read everything<br /><ul><li>Can suppress innovation
    5. 5. once you see solutions using a particular theme, often hard to think differently</li></li></ul><li>Read or not to read,that is the question<br />Read, of course<br />Know what’s important<br />Know what can be ignored without significant loss of information<br />
    6. 6. Where to search? <br />When I was a Master’s student…<br /><ul><li>When I was a doctoral student…
    7. 7. Now…</li></ul>‹#› <br />
    8. 8. Where to search papers? (1) <br />IEEEXplore<br /><ul><li>ACM Digital Library</li></ul>‹#› <br />
    9. 9. Where to search papers? (2) <br />Google Scholar<br /><ul><li>Personal Web Pages</li></ul>‹#› <br />
    10. 10. Where to search papers? (3) <br />Top Conference Proceedings<br />AREA: System Technology<br /> Premium:<br />SOSP: ACM SIGOPS Symp on OS Principles<br /> OSDI: UsenixSymp. OS Design and Implementation<br /> Leading:<br />ICPP: Intl Conf on Parallel Processing<br /> ICDCS: IEEE Intl Conf. Distr. Comp Systems<br /> Reputable:<br />GLOBECOM: Global Comm<br /> ICCC: Intl Conf on Comp Communication<br />
    11. 11. Where to search papers? (4) <br />Top Journals<br />AREA: System Technology<br /> Premium:<br />Jnl of Parallel and Distributed Computing<br /> IEEE Trans on Parallel and Distributed Systems<br /> Distributed Computing<br /> Leading:<br />Jnl of Network and Computer Applications<br />Parallel Computing<br /> Reputable:<br />ACM Mobile Computing and Communicatons Review<br />Intl Jnl of High Speed Computing<br />
    12. 12. What to read? <br />Major conferences<br />Journals are a few years behind, but still can be useful<br />Tech reports from active research groups<br />need to know which groups to look up<br />Survey / overview papers<br />ACM Computing Surveys<br />CACM, IEEE Computer, Spectrum<br />more technical - IEEE Personal Communications, …<br />newsletters - ACM SIGCOMM, ACM SIGMOBILE, ...<br />
    13. 13. Manage References<br />
    14. 14. References Management Software<br />BiblioExpress   <br />
    15. 15. References Management Software<br />EndNote<br />EndNote Web<br />Zotero<br />RefWorks<br />Reference Manager<br />Mendeley<br />See Comparison at:<br />http://workspace.imperial.ac.uk/library/Public/Reference_management_software_comparison.pdf<br />
    16. 16. What’s in a paper [see also how to write papers: http://www.auburn.edu/~xzq0001/WritePapers-Part 1.ppt]<br />Abstract<br />Introduction<br />Motivation<br />Problem description<br />Solution<br />...<br />Performance Analysis<br />Conclusions<br />Future Work<br />
    17. 17. How to read a paper? Three levels<br />Know why you want to read the paper<br />To know what’s going on (e.g., scanning proceedings)<br />title, authors, abstract<br />Papers in your broad research area<br />introduction, motivation, solution description, summary, conclusions<br />sometimes reading more details useful, but not always<br />Papers you may want to improve on<br />read entire paper carefully<br />
    18. 18. What to note?<br />Authors and research group<br />Need to know where to look for a paper on particular topic<br />Theme of the solution<br />Should be able to go back to the paper if you need more info<br />Approach to performance evaluation<br />Note any shortcomings<br />
    19. 19. So this paper is in print ...<br />Be skeptical<br />If it sounds too good to be true, it often is ……<br />
    20. 20. More Advice …<br />
    21. 21. Three phases to reading<br />Determine if there is anything interesting at all in the paper.<br />Determine which portion of the paper contains the interesting stuff.<br />Should I read the whole paper?<br />Read the whole paper if necessary.<br />
    22. 22. Is there anything interesting?<br />Ideally, the abstract should tell you this, but frequently it does not.<br />Need to jump about<br />Read conclusion<br />Read introduction<br />Look at the bibliography<br />Glance at the TOC – Table of Content (if any)<br />
    23. 23. Which portion contains interesting stuff?<br />A paper typically outlines its organization at the end of the introduction. <br />Use this to determine which portion contains the exciting stuff. <br />Quickly scan the titles of each sections in the paper.<br />
    24. 24. Read the whole paper<br />Read with the following questions in mind<br />How can I use this stuff?<br />Does this really do what the author claims to do?<br />What if the assumptions and choices that the author made are discarded (or made invalid)?<br />Is source code available?<br />More questions ……<br />
    25. 25. Context and problem statement<br />What problems are the author trying to solve or trying to convince you of?<br />Are they important problems?<br />Why?<br />Why not?<br />What is the author’s thesis?<br />
    26. 26. Related work evaluation<br />Does the author describe other work in the field?<br />If so, how does this research differ from the other work?<br />
    27. 27. New idea<br />What new idea is the author proposing?<br />Architecture<br />Algorithm<br />Mechanism<br />Methodology<br />Perspective<br />Is the idea useful and practical?<br />26<br />
    28. 28. What to evaluate?<br />What need to be evaluated to confirm the worthiness of the new idea?<br />Runtime<br />Throughput<br />Resource utilization<br />Model validation<br />27<br />
    29. 29. How to evaluate?<br />How did the author go about conducting the evaluation?<br />Formalize and prove theorems<br />Run simulations<br />Artifact design and construction<br />Collect traces from existing systems<br />
    30. 30. Was the evaluation correct and adequate?<br />How was the data collection done?<br />Do you agree with the analysis of data?<br />Do you agree with the conclusions about the data?<br />Do you have any new interpretation of the data?<br />Can you suggest new ways to evaluate the data?<br />
    31. 31. Assumptions, drawbacks and extensions<br />Can you think of other aspects of the idea that need to be evaluated?<br />Can you think of extensions or modifications to the idea to improve it?<br />How would you evaluate your improvement?<br />
    32. 32. Assumptions, drawbacks and extensions<br />Can you apply the idea or method of evaluation to your own project?<br />Do the authors make any assumptions that are not valid or realistic?<br />Can you come up with a more general solution that does not rely on one or more of the assumptions?<br />
    33. 33. Future work<br />Does the author indicate how the work should be followed up on?<br />Does the paper generate new ideas?<br />Does the paper implicitly or explicitly provide a new way of doing other things or of thinking about problems?<br />
    34. 34. Summary<br />If you remember nothing else:<br />Where to search papers<br />Scan papers<br />Read papers with questions in mind<br />
    35. 35. Download the presentation slideshttp://www.slideshare.net/xqin74<br />Google: slideshare Xiao Qin<br />
    36. 36. Further Researchhttp://www.eng.auburn.edu/~xqin<br />
    37. 37. My webpagehttp://www.eng.auburn.edu/~xqin<br />
    38. 38. Download Slides at slidesharehttp://www.slideshare.net/xqin74<br />
    39. 39. Questions<br />

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