Project: Future Mobile/Wireless Real-Time Applications


The goal of the term project is to give you the opportunity to get your hands dirty on a concrete problem related to real-time systems, fault-tolerant systems, and related domains such as sensor networks, robotics, multimedia, etc. The project will be performed individually or in teams of 2 students. Each team/student will prepare a project proposal in consultation with the lecturer. Further, the teams will be responsible for frequent progress reports, demos, a term paper, and final presentation.

Project Theme

The theme of the project is "Future Mobile and Wireless Applications". Each student or team will investigate the status quo of mobile/wireless applications and propose a novel application. This application can come from a variety of scenarios, e.g., entertainment, gaming, music or video, business applications, safety, vehicular technologies, navigational tools, rescue missions, military applications, teaching, support for handicapped people, tools for children, shopping, advertisement, surveillance, and many many more. This is your opportunity to be creative! Just think of some application you miss today or you think may be useful in the future. Think of your own personal situation, what can you think of that would make your life better, safer, more fun, etc. And do not constrain yourself to the limitations of today's technologies, e.g., if your proposed application relies on a sensor device inside a cell phone that does not exist today, just assume we have (or build) such a cell phone.

By the end of the first half of the semester, each team/student will submit a written and oral proposal of their application (after consultation with the instructor). The instructor may also forward your proposals to outside reviewers (faculty at other universities, industrial partners, etc.) to obtain feedback on your ideas. As a second component of the proposal phase, you will select a very concrete real-time problem that needs to be solved to move closer to your application scenario. This problem will be addressed during the second half of the semester. Problems can include a variety of topics, e.g., implementation issues (developing new mobile or sensing devices), operating system issues (scheduling of resources), communication issues, energy management issues, middleware tools, measurements and experiments, and many more. Again, the concrete problem will be selected in consultation with the instructor.

To achieve your project goals, you have access to all the facilties and tools of the DARTS Lab (356B Fitzpatrick, door code will be handed out in class). Specifically, you will have access to numerous wireless/mobile devices such as Linux mesh routers, sensor devices, laptops, oscilloscopes, robots, cell phones, and other devices. Details about these devices' capabilities will be discussed in class.

Structure of Project

The first half of the semester will serve to explore existing and potential future wireless/mobile applications. Students will go through several iterations of discussing their ideas with the instructor to identify a creative novel application and a sub-problem they will focus on during the second half of the semester. During project execution, each student/team will meet regularly with the instructor to discuss the progress. Towards the end of the semester, students will prepare a term paper and a presentation (and possibly a demo).

Project Proposal

The proposal is document that describes in detail the problem you are trying to solve, the method you will apply to solve the problem, the hardware/software artifacts involved, how you will evaluate your solution (e.g., comparing to existing solutions), and other information such as a timeline and preliminary related work (bibliography).

Term Paper

It is wise to start writing toward your final document very early (e.g., write the proposal and progress reports so that they can be reused in the final document). While reading papers for the lectures, have a close look at the outline and style. You will see that the structure of these papers are very similar (abstract, introduction, approach, implementation, evaluation, related work, summary, future work), try to structure your reports/paper accordingly.

The term paper has to be submitted by December 18, 2007 (midnight) via email (only postscript or PDF documents will be accepted!). Hardcopy submissions are optional, but cannot replace a soft copy.

The paper has to be 5 pages in length or longer. The maximum font size is 11 point, the maximum spacing is 1.5. Each paper should clearly introduce the problem, the proposed solution, the implementation details, and the evaluation. Every student presented two papers in class, use these papers as example for style. Every paper has to have a title, the name and email addresses of the authors, an abstract, a conclusion (and possibly future work) section, and a bibliography (at least 5 papers have to be referenced). Clearly structure the paper, provide captions for all figures, and run a spell checker over the document. Also, if you have a large number of figures or want to add other documents (such as code), provide these as addendums instead of putting them into the main document. Finally, put a copy of your code and any other documents you want to submit into your online dropbox.