24 days to go…

It is important to write the specific goal that I wanted to achieve daily until I reach the milestone which is on the 5th … I have 24 days (including today)……Even though its late already…but lets do something…I just want to prepare the layout of the presentation and a movie  first..

Today :

  • Prepare the latex presentation layout. Outlines:
    • Swarm robotic systems (SRS)
    • An Analogy with the immune systems
    • Granuloma Formation
    • Artificial Granuloma Formation Algorithm for Self-Healing SRS
  • Simulation movie to be embedded to the presentation
    • update granuloma formation movie
    • prepare movie on swarm beacon taxis algoritm

The updated simulation is as this, need to change the e-puck later


Bila dah third year

I started my third year last october and sungguh banyak kerja..meeting…presentation…conference paper …reading …writing…and deadlines…I am now have started the analysis part, even though it as an algorithm development, we still have to run some statistical tests, and last week, while finishing the conference paper ( yay…submitted to jon already!!!), managed to plot and run some statistical tests using Matlab and now I am ready to test my next algorithm and continue my algorithm analysis.

This month is another hectic month…another paper submission on 24th of March … I am starting to understand on how to write a conference paper…hopefully it works this time. So the list of task are as follow :

Week 1
  1. Conference paper
  2. Poster paper
  3. Outline paper for ICARIS 2010

(should be ready for monday meeting…)

Week 2
  1. Simulation 1
  2. Simulation 2
  3. Simulation 3
  4. Analysis
  5. Update paper
Week 3 Finalised paper and send to Jon
Week 4 Update and correct paper

Meeting and more work!!

We had an early meeting ( Jon is always early by the way). Two main discussion for this month is the experiment and conference paper. I explained on the simulation that I had and Jon gave ideas on what kind of result that I can show to him next week.  So I think it went well. While discussing, we look at the ‘algorithmic-novelty’ that I will come out with and compare with what has been done by Alan and his students. I have to be careful and delineate the problem and solution that I am working on and write in properly in the paper that I am writing.

Towards the end of the discussion, we had a chat on my Phd as a whole and jon highlighted that he can still remember on my first year ( ouch!!!). and I know I have been learning A LOT and changes ( based on true story!!!). I am pleased …so did jon.  I know, my first and second year was not that good, but with all effort ….I am now in my third year ( alhamdulillah). Third year is not bad at all, better than first and second. You are getting clearer  and clearer each day.  For me, I have a weekly milestone and it must be ahead from what Jon is expecting. So that I have extra days from Jon. Trying to achieve is hard, especially you can’t really delayed in any more. No more excuses!!! More discussion with friends…people that are doing the same thing with you. Fortunately, in my office, we are all doing swarm robotics..we have Prof. Alan from Bristol Robotics Lab to verify or to give ideas, help us , emailing us with new thesis or papers that we need to look at. Trying to achieve novel idea is not as easy as it is…it is difficult!!! and..doing Phd is another story  :P.

Looking back at my monthly tasks, I have few more major experiment to be done before migrating to the real robot which I think will be challenges. We have 1 more experiment which is the signature algorithm for this week. My thesis audit with Fiona is coming, hope to get feedback from her as well. Jon suggested to send the paper to ANTS 201o, as more robotics people will be there and we will get good feedback on our work ( no matter it is accepted or not). Alan will be jointly writing the paper.

While writing, running some experiment, I did update my bib file ( references…..:P), crashing my MACBOOK hard disk yesterday  ( I want the new snow-leopard mac os-X ), thanks to Time-Machine again for the second time..In the mean time I am updating the content of my big book and writing the experimental design chapter….so off to work and more work is coming !!!!!

Its friday…12th february 2010

It’s friday..12th february..and it is my birthday..old enough to celebrate. We performed ‘solat hajat’ together praying for our future, hoping for a better tomorrow, insyaAllah. That’s me, ever since a little girl, my grandparents forbid birthday celebration, they said ‘mesti berdoa, bersyukur masih hidup hingga ke hari ini’. Kata mereka lagi..’jangan lah dipanggil hari jadi sebab hari itu lebih bermakna di panggil hari lahir, dah lama kita dijadikan cuma dilahirkan pada hari itu…’ alhamdulillah masih ingat ke hari ini walau mereka sudah tiada. We read few sections of hadith 40, alhamdulillah. semoga hidup makin bermakna bila mendekkati Allah. Semoga ilmu setara dengan amal , InsyaAllah…semoga hidayahmu sentiasa bersama kami. Amin ya Allah.

Work wise, progressing well. Alhamdulillah. both algorithm are ready for testing next week. Paper has been updated, submitted ….This month will be ready for testing both algorithms for anchoring and energy sharing and writing a paper for ICARIS 2010.

This week, am planning to start do some writing for my ‘big book’..:P. I have 8 chapters altogether. Collecting all the chapters that have been written in 4 reports submitted to the department, the outline of the ‘book’ is there. Main reference is of course paul’s, nembrini and a new  thesis given by alan.

Without extension, I will have 8 months, :). I am happy as my final year is better than 1st and 2nd. …. I  hope my journey is like this until the end…::)

Some updates

Mode: lazy, tired, demam skit skit ( paling teruk tengah kuat menidur kan diri) ..what? erhmmm please don’t blame the weather again.:P , as it is me who are lazy.  This week we don’t have a meeting but need to submit the second draft of conference paper to Jon and managed to email him just now…so he can get back to me and we have some time to do the correction again. However, my first algorithm for nearest neighbour is now  ready for testing. Alhamdulillah – at least managed to show some demo before viva next week – movie to be followed later. 🙂 , SO by tomorrow, I guess, am ready for the next experiment. So next week I hope we can start writing my signature algorithm while preparing for my viva.

List of tasks:

  • anchoring problem simulation result
  • charger
    • predefined charger
      • 3 robots ; nearest only – A
      • 3 robot; shared – B
    • nearest neighbour ( should be completed this week ) – C
    • with complement ( should be finish by february) -D
    • Result Analysis for A, B and C ( should be completed this week) – I
    • Compare I with D ( next month I have to go back to my model and simulate it again, before preparing for real robot experiment in April)
  • Thesis audit: Viva on the 17th Feb 2010
  • 2 Conference papers:
    • Conference 1: 1st draft submitted, 2nd draft submitted
    • Conference 2: Started when obtain result from A, B , C and/or D ( experiment starts)

please ..please …please jangan malas lagi…tolong la rajin macam oyis tuh ha…:P

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.


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