Skip to main content
AA228/CS238 Decision Making under Uncertainty

Final Project

The objective of the final project is to explore topics in decision making under uncertainty in greater depth than is permitted in class. The choice of topic is up to you, but it should be related to the general themes of the course. As part of the project you should:

  • describe an approach (existing or newly developed),
  • apply the approach to a problem of interest (which may or may not be related to aerospace), and
  • analyze the performance of the approach according to a set of metrics.

Your topic may be related to your graduate research or another class project (so long as permission is granted by the instructor of your other class); however, you must make the relationship to your other work clear in your proposal and final paper and describe how you have extended this research for this class.

Your final project may be done in any programming language, and you may use any libraries or software available to you. If you have difficulty finding an appropriate topic, feel free to talk with the course staff during office hours or post to Ed. Example problem domains can be found here:

As all research projects will be graded with the same standard regardless of the number of people in the group, you are encouraged to work in groups of 2-3 with everyone in the group taking the same number of units (unless prior approval from the instructor is given). You can still choose to work individually if you want to.

When working in groups, please clearly detail the contributions of the individual group members.

Should your compute requirements exceed the capacity of your personal machines, we recommend using FarmShare.

 You are welcome to refer to past project titles.

Proposal

The purpose of the proposal is to have you think about the types of problems we hope to solve in this class. In one paragraph or more, describe at a high level the problem that you would like to solve for your final project, why you believe it is a decision-making problem, and any sources of uncertainty. We do not require any discussion of how you plan to solve the problem, but the more details you include the more feedback we can provide. Note that you are free to change your project between the proposal and the Final Project Status Update.

Required Files

  • Write-up
    • Must be in PDF format

The proposal is limited to two pages and should be submitted to Gradescope in PDF format. The proposal is worth 5% of your grade. Please have only one group member submit the proposal and select the other group members during submission.

Status Update

You will provide a 1 page status update partway into the quarter. Please re-introduce the problem, outline what you have been able to accomplish, and provide a revised timeline to completion. Please have ONE group member submit your status update on Gradescope.

Required Files

  • Write-up
    • Must be in PDF format

The status update should be submitted to Gradescope in PDF format.

Final Report

Option 1: Paper

Write a 4-6 page paper describing your research. It should follow the typical conference style with an abstract, introduction, etc. State the problem you are trying to solve, introduce your approach, and review the relevant literature. The experiments should be described in sufficient detail so that someone with a reasonable background in the area could reproduce your results. Show your results and discuss the conclusions that can be drawn. You can use the AAAI, AIAA, NIPS, or IEEE paper templates (the LaTeX version looks better, but Word will be accepted)—or you can use the template of another conference of your choice.

If you end up using LaTeX, we recommend using the biblatex package to manage references, pgfplots for plotting data, and tikz for drawing figures—but you are free to use whatever you want.

If you are in a group, please include a section after the conclusions that explains how each group member contributed to the project.

Required Files

  •  Write-up
    • Must be in PDF format

Option 2: Video

Submit a video (2-3 minutes for individuals, 3-5 minutes for groups). State the problem you are trying to solve, introduce your approach, and review the relevant literature. The experiments should be described in sufficient detail so that someone with a reasonable background in the area could reproduce your results. Show your results and discuss the conclusions that can be drawn.

If you are in a group, please use the write a short paragraph explaining how each group member contributed to the project. There is a field for this at the end of the submission.

Required Files

  •  Video
    • Must be in MP4 format
    • Must be 2-3 minutes for individuals, 3-5 minutes for groups
  • Summary of group member contributions (if you are in a group)
    • Must be in PDF format

Grading

The final grade will based on the following criteria:

Final Project Rubric
Submitted20 points
Problem Clearly Stated
Succinct and clear problem description appropriate for other members of the course.
10 points
Approach Clearly Stated
Succinct and clear approach description appropriate for other members of the course.
10 points
Appropriateness of Approach
It is justified why the specific approach in question was chosen for the problem at hand.
10 points
Analysis and Results
The approach described was quantitatively analyzed according to a set of clearly described metrics, and the results of this analysis presented as figures/tables/graphs/etc.
10 points
Clarity of Drawings, Graphs, Tables
The drawings, graphs and tables included support the points that are made in the paper/presentation. Complex concepts that require diagrammatic or visual presentation are appropriately presented.
10 points
Quality of Discussion and Conclusion
The conclusions follow logically from the presented results. Salient aspects of the experiments that were introduced earlier are included in the discussion.
10 points
Adequacy of References and Discussion of Prior Work
If the project is a follow-on from an ongoing larger research project, previous or closely related publications are summarized and cited in order to provide adequate background.
If the project is new but closely related to existing research in literature, the relevant sources are cited and discussed.
Finally, citations are provided for any algorithms and software not developed in the scope of the project.
10 points
Structure of Paper / Presentation
The paper/presentation is divided into sections that make it easy to read/listen and follow.
10 points
Writing Quality / Presentation Quality
Terms are properly defined and there is no unnecessary jargon. Sentences come to logical conclusions. The writing/speaking structure does not interfere with comprehension.
10 points
Abstract or Overview
There is a reasonable abstract, overview or table of contents present in the paper/presentation. May be written or spoken.
10 points
Total120 points

The final report is worth 20% of your grade. The total score out of 120 points will ultimately be scaled to a score out of 20.

Students who are registered for 4 units are expected to spend 30 additional hours on the project component and will be graded according to this expectation.  We encourage that the paper (or video) that is produced should be ready for submission to a peer-reviewed conference but this is not required. Please have ONE group member submit your final report on Gradescope.

Peer Review

Peer review is an important part of science and engineering. Understanding the review process will make you a better writer. As part of this class, you will be randomly assigned two student papers (or videos) to peer review in the spirit of a real conference or journal article review. The task of the referee is outlined in this article by Alan Jay Smith. Although you will not be making recommendations for or against publication, you will need to answer the questions listed in Section 4 of Smith’s article. Throughout your review, we encourage you to be kind and constructive.

Each person will be assigned 2 reviews. Each of your reviews should be 1 page. You will be graded according to the quality and constructiveness of your review. Your reviews will be provided anonymously to the authors, so please do not include your name in your review.

Required Files

  • Review write-ups (2 files)
    • Must be in PDF format

The peer reviews should be submitted to Gradescope in PDF format. The reviews are worth 5% of your grade.