This week

Whilst correcting some codes, here are things that I need to do this week:

  • w-algorithm with failures
  • update bibliography ( for thesis and conference )
  • update paper for jon/alan ( half way)…
  • prepare movies for seminar and meeting
  • update presentation for thesis seminar ( half way)
  • run few experiments for granuloma algorithm ( nearest neighbour -this week )
  • update analysis ( velocity of robots, standard deviation….)
  • finalised paper ( to be forwarded to jon )

We will have meeting tomorrow..

How (and How Not) to write a technical paper:: Tips to myself (Part 1)

I would like to provide guidelines to myself. After writing qualifying dissertation, progress report, thesis audit and thesis outline. I have to prepare on writing my own thesis (the big book later).  I am planning to start writing in a little while. The overall thesis structure is there but writing is a complicated process especially when English is not my first language, limited vocabulary and the difficulties in expressing what I really wanted to say.  My assessor is very meticulous, every single sentences every single word, every single comma every single figure, leaving me with lots of frustration. It must look perfect for her, if I managed to feast her eyes in the documentations, she will be very happy. I want to write like them, I have to learn on how I can write and expressing my research so that they will understand.  I never had any steps in writing, leaving me with lots of papers to refer, not sure about the content, everything is scattered in my memory. It’s time for a change I guess.  It might be wrong, or not complete but then it is a good start for me.

I presume in writing, there are several steps

  1. Preparation
  2. Research
  3. Organisation
  4. Writing a draft
  5. Revision

Preparation: Before I sat down to write this paper, I asked myself some questions,  then, I discussed and asked Jon,  to conform. Things that I need to clarify:

  • the purpose of the document
  • the audience
  • the scope

Research: The purpose of the paper is to convey information. In order to convey information, I have to understand it. – but can I explain it?. This is a major problem….If don’t have the gist of the paper, that I cannot really explain it. Here, collection of references are needed and must be accurate.

Organisation: I understand that a poorly organised documentation may in fact be worse then I really thought it will be. I have to remember about what I need to tell users and how the information can best be conveyed. I need to choose the method that best suits my topics and my purpose. Fiona always mentioned that in writing you have to explain each sections and how the sections work together and general-to-specific writing manner. In general-to-specific writing manner, you begin with general/broad information about your research and move to more specific information in tha latter sections.

So now, I need to  prepare an outline based on the organisation that I have in mind. This will provides a road map for my writing.  Personally, I use an iterative approach: I start with a very broad outline as follow ( it’s not easy as I am stuck few times to relate each sections, to maintain coherence of the paper..:( ) I then go through my outline and break categories into sub-categories and sub-sub-categories until I feel I have a clear enough map.

  • Introduction
  • Swarm Robotics
    • Fault Tolerance
  • Swarm Taxis Algorithm
  • Experimental Setup
    • Initial Result
  • Proposed Solution
    • General Ideas
    • Algorithm
  • Conclusion
  • References

Writing a draft: I am now ready to begin writing. I need to expand the outline into paragraphs. I save the introduction for last, so that I will have a better idea of what is covered in the body of the document. There is also a need to write a conclusion to the paper later – I should remember the basic rule of technical writing:

Tell them what you’re going to tell them. (Introduction)
Tell them. (Body)
Tell them what you’ve told them. (Conclusion)

Revision: Finally I need to check for completeness and accuracy.

  • Check for conciseness, and covers a topic clearly.
  • Check spelling and grammar. I use spell check
  • Review abbreviations, acronyms, and initialisms expanded at their first usage?

Conclusion: So finally, I need to tell them what I’ve told them.

In preparing a technical paper, key points discussed were: establishing the purpose, assessing the audience, determining the scope, and selecting the appropriate medium. The research section covered the reasons for research and strategies for writing a paper. In organisation, methods of development were introduced such as  division, classification, and general-to-specific writing manner. Outlining was also discussed. Finally, strategies for writing and revision were covered.

Writing a paper ….

I am struggling to write the paper… So first, I need to clarify what is the purpose of the paper and what I am going to do. This outline maybe useful in the future.

We are planning to write a paper to the 3rd IFIP Conference on Biologically-Inspired Collaborative Computing (BICC 2010). We plan to desrcibe on the experimental design and result that we have obtained so far. Based on our previous discussion, this paper highlights more on the analysis, literature and work in progress. Main contribution of the paper is to odentify what are the potential properties from immune systems that can be instantiated to the problem that we have in mind. In writing the paper, the first thing I should have to remember is to relate my paper with the conference theme….

Lets make this as exercise, a guideline to myself, so that I have a clearer mind in my writing


Writing abstract

When writing the abstract, some questions that I need to ask

  • What is the purpose of my paper? This should, as with any abstract, be a general definition statement about the objectives of the paper.
  • What approach am I using? I.e. am I reviewing the literature, describing a case study, supporting a research hypothesis, and if the latter, what is my research design and research methodology?
  • What are my findings?
  • What is the import of my findings?

Outline the content of the paper

General Questions that need to be answered in writing the paper.

  • Part 1: Specify what problem (topic) is being addressed: Why is the problem (topic) interesting!
  • Part 2: What is the current state of the art of solutions? Or, how is the topic currently being addressed in the literature?Why is the current literature inadequate?
  • Part 3: What is the proposed solution?What is the motivation?Why is it interesting?
  • Part 4: Discussion. How does the proposed solution compare with others? In theory? In practice? What are the weaknesses?
  • Part 5: Conclusion. Summarize proposed solution and why it is interesting.Summarize weaknesses.Identify open questions.



Had a good presentation and discussion about granuloma formation that I propose and seems that it is clear enough for them to understand. So, continue on working to achieve this week target. Charger added, but still single movement, I will continue until this week to add the aggregation to the single movement robot. But it is still an achievement…managed to upgrade to stage 3.2, managed to add charger and moving to light and charged if the energy reduce. Hopefully the aggregation algorithm can be added by this week, so that I can discuss with Jon next week while preparing for the paper. Tomorrow, need to plot the coherence result, with and without faulty to be discussed with Alan.

Some good feedback from Paul and Peter  during workers’ day presentation today are as follow:

  • what if the energy is not enough to be charged? extreme case? –> KILL
  • must be very careful, have a proper procedure for charging capability ( normal mathematical vs with signature ) : we had the initial discussion on  this to add complexity for the algorithm
  • might worth trying to write down the algorithm

Collecting Resources for Thesis Audit

In this few days, I would like to dedicate more time in reading and preparing for my thesis audit. It does not mean that I am trying to abandon my swarm’s code, but I am looking at how I can link ideas in my research properly, to be discussed with Jon before thesis audit. I have to answer lots of WHY questions and at the same time, I am preparing the conference paper that is due this month. In writing, it is important that every point is linked with each other to have the proper flow from each paragraph ( which is really difficult !!!!). For my thesis outline, I would like to redo chapter 1 of my thesis and rewrite the research problem, hypothesis and objectives to be discussed with Jon and Fiona. The overall research ideas are clear but I have to be careful in putting all the ideas in writing. In my qualifying dissertation and progress report, I did have my initial research background. However, this year, lots of amendment and improvement of my research need to be properly outline.

Things that I need to clarify are:

  • Natural Systems and Swarm Robotics
  • Aggregation in Swarm Robotics
    • Why Energy?
    • How the issues of energy been resolved by the researchers?: A recent publication on moveable charger is publsihed, however it is done in a real robots. I might be interested in extending my docking charger to moveable charger later
      • I need to analyse my experiment in adding charger in my simulation
      • Strength? Weaknesses? – may relate on issues of coherence, need to plot the coherence of aggregation of swarm and look at the overall performance
      • More comparable analysis can be provided and an energy sharing ideas: taking from the immune systems may be relevant at this point.

To be updated

Tuesday Meeting update:

Discussed about things that I have in mind and Jon mentioned that we need to focus on getting the simulation ready by end on the month so that we can start writing paper for ICARIS. Prof Alan is coming to CoSMoS meeting and we are about to discuss on the simuation result in detail. So, now I am preparing for the discussion as well as preparing for tomorrow’s presentation for workers’ day…

Loathe in exploiting the comments

I have been trying to delay this correction, finally I have enough strengths to do it, I know the reviewer is Fiona since the comments are similar with my QD, Progress report and Thesis Outline. Meeting her again next month for my Thesis Audit. A reminder has been sent by Fiona stating that we have to submit the Thesis Audit form and report to our supervisor and accessor. This paper was written in rush actually and I thought it will never been accepted since I have been abandoning the modeling work for quite sometime, focusing on my robotics algorithm.


sudo apt-get install latex2rtf

latex2rtf paper