[Project description | Grading Criteria | Milestone One | Milestone Two ]

[ Milestone Three | Milestone Four | Milestone Five | Milestone Six ]

Project description and milestones

Project groups with 4-5 members will be formed by the instructors, with the goal of mixing people with distinct background and perspectives. Much of the value of the project will be what you learn from working with other group members.

Project description

The purpose behind the project is to gain experience in applying the concepts of the course to real-life situations. Your project group will choose a significant application of interest to you. You will then apply your skills in: The outcome of the project will be a group-authored Web site that documents the conclusions of the group and which will be assigned as reading for all the students.

Grading criteria [top]

In addition, you should take the following into account in formulating your project: Milestone 3 is the capstone of the first three milestones, and 50% of the project grade will be based on it. (The first two milestones served as a vehicle to give you direction and guidance.) The weighting of the subsequent milestones are shown below:

M3                50%
M4                15%
M5                10%
M6                25%

In addition, 30% of the project grade will be based on an assessment of your group members as to your personal contribution to the group. More specifically, the following is the formula governing the project grade assuming each milestone M and your particpation P are all graded on a scale of 4 (4 = A, 3 = B, 2 = C, 1 = D, 0 = F):

Project grade (range of 0 to 4) = (0.5*M3 + 0.15*M4 + 0.1*M5 + 0.25*M6) * (0.7 + 0.3*P/4)

Milestone one [top]

Create a homepage for your group. Your homepage should be arranged with an entry page that contains a title and abstract for the project, a list of group members, and links to each of the milestones.

Choose the application your group would like to address. We want each of the project groups to choose different applications, and it is also important that the application be of a complexity and scale that does not exceed the intentions of this project. For these reasons, get approval for your application from the instructor. For the purposes of approval, the title and abstract will be sufficient -- the instructors will ask additional questions if necessary.

Here are some examples to illustrate the type of applications you might choose:

Think carefully about finding an application where networked computing adds major value, since you will be judged in part on how much impact you potentially make on users and organizations.

Your submission should include:

  1. Subj: Group xx project milestone 1 (only if sent by email -- see below)
  2. Your group number.
  3. List of students in the group who have participated in the discussions.
  4. List of email addresses of students in the group.
  5. Concise description of the proposed application. This will be only one to three paragraphs long, and state what is intended to accomplish and how you believe this is a compelling application of networked computing.
You can submit milestone 1 one of several ways: The purpose of this milestone is to get your group moving in a profitable direction. In many cases there will be some discussion with the instructor and resubmissions before the milestone is completed.

Milestone two [top]

On your group homepage, concisely write up the following (this will probably amount to at most two to three pages): Again, there might be some iteration with the instructors to refine your application ideas. They will give you guidance as to how you might improve your proposal, and your grade is based on the final outcome.

Milestone three  [top]

In this phase, you will begin an analysis of your application in sufficient detail that the stakeholders (people who will pay to develop the application and who will have to use it in their operational setting) can examine and evaluate your plan and give you feedback. It is a good idea to talk to people who might actually use the application (if this is possible).

This first stage of analysis is functional requirements. Your analysis will include:

The following criteria will be specifically addressed in the grading:

Milestone four [top]

Now you will continue your analysis to deal with the performance issues. Based on the application usage requirements, so that the users derive maximum value without budgeting more acquisition and deployment costs than necessary, analyze the following: Observe that here you are addressing the characteristics of your application and how it serves users, not the technology supporting the application. The requirements you identify then affect the design of the technology. In estimating these performance requirements you will have to make credible and supportable assumptions about your application: how many users might you have if you are most successful, what is the activity level of those users, and how do the details of what users are actually doing affect the requirements on factors like throughput and interactive delay. For a background on the issues you should be thinking about, see Section 17.1 and the first paragraph in Section 17.3 (remembering that this is about the technology, whereas you are interested in the needs of the users, with the goal of relating that to the requirements on the technology).

The following criteria will be specifically addressed in the grading of this milestone:

Milestone five [top]

Address the issue of how your application might be acquired. In particular, consider the following issues and try to achieve closure on them: Your conclusions will depend very much on the context of your chosen application: its capabilities, and also the nature of the organizations that will use it. Justify your conclusions in the context of both the application you have chosen and the organizations involved.

The following criteria will be specifically addressed in grading this milestone:

Milestone six [top]

Address some technology issues for your application. In particular: The following criteria will be specifically addressed in grading this milestone: