STAT59800-016/CS59000-059: Statistical Network Analysis
Spring 2016: Project information

Your project is a significant undertaking that allows you to empirically explore one or more issues within statistical network analysis. Choose a topic area that is interesting to you, with a scope that is likely to be doable in a semester, and preferably that is sufficiently new and interesting that it could form the basis of some additional research. The only broad restriction on topic choice is that it must deal with network analysis models/algorithms. Better projects might be preliminary investigations of something that could ultimately become a conference submission. That level of originality is encouraged but not required.

Here are a couple of ideas for projects. They need to be fleshed out with more detail; the list should be viewed as ideas for inspiration. If none of these interests you, feel free to propose your own topic. Before a project is undertaken, the key idea must be approved by the instructor. Approval can be oral and can be based on an oral description of the project's goals. You are also welcome to send the instructor a few paragraphs by email describing what you want to do.

You may work on this project individually or in small groups. A group's project is expected to be larger in scope than an individual's project, and will be graded on that assumption.

You can also choose to write a term paper instead of completing an empirical research project. Students opting to write a term paper are required to turn in a 15-20 page (single spaced, with standard margins) page paper that surveys an aspect of current research in statistical network analysis. The term paper should present your interpretation of the approaches taken by at least four related research activities (i.e., models/algorithms). Each term paper is to be written by an individual student. I am primarily interested in your understanding of the work (e.g., explanation of the models within a common framework) and interpretation of the research (e.g., strengths/weakness/insights/limitations).

Preliminary report: Due Mar 11

The preliminary report should be a 3-4 page report that includes:

Presentation: Due Apr 20-27

The oral presentation to the class should provide an overview of the project's goals, necessary background information (including work done by others), a description of any experiments, and a summary of your results and findings.

Final report: Due May 8 (midnight)

The final report should be a 8-10 page report that includes:

The final report should resemble a conference or workshop submission regardless of the quality of the final results (i.e., even if the project did not succeed). The final report can (and should) include material from the preliminary report.