COMP4181/9181 Final Exam - 2013
- This is a 24h take-home exam.
- The exam runs from noon on Monday, 25 November to noon on Tuesday, 26 November 2012.
- The basic exam question is available now, but the papers you are asked to analyse will be made available only at noon on Monday, 25 November 2012.
- The papers will be available electronically via this webpage.
- The total exam is worth 40 marks.
- You will lose 4 marks for each hour, or part thereof, your submission is late.
- You are not to get any help from anyone on the exam. You should not talk to anyone else about the exam from the time you receive the full details until you submit your solution.
Structure of the exam report
The exam will include two papers, both of which you have to read and critically assess. Please combine the assessment of both papers in one PDF file. Please format your report as follows:
Cover page: This page should only contain the words "Exam report for COMP4181/9181 (13s2)" and your student number. Please do not put your name on the cover page.
- Critical assessment of Paper 1. Please put the title of the paper on top of the first page of this part.
- Critical assessment of Paper 2. Please put the title of the paper on top of the first page of this part.
Last page: Please put the following (and nothing else) on the last page.
Full name : <your full name> Student number: <your student number> By submitting this report for assessment as the exam component of COMP4181/9181 (13s2), I declare that this submission is my own work, and I have not received any help whatsoever.
Submitting the exam report
You are to submit the report via give using the command
give cs4181 exam exam.pdf
Please check that you can submit your exam well before the deadline. I will have little sympathy for submission issues if you raise them five minutes before the deadline.
You are given two research papers (the attachments will be available from noon on Monday, 25 November 2013):
You are to read, understand, and critically assess the papers. Questions you may want to ask yourself for each of the papers:
- What problem is it trying to address?
- How well does it address the issue?
- How well do the authors motivate the value of solving the problem. Is the problem a real problem?
- How does it relate to other work? Does it reference relevant other work (as far as you can tell), does it do the other work justice?
- How technically sound is it? Does the authors' argumentation, the presented data convince you? Should they have been looking at other issues?
- How good are the results (which may be theoretical/conceptual or of a quantitative nature)?
- How good/deep is their analysis?
- How easy would it be to reproduce their results?
- How general are their results? Can they be applied to other systems? Did we learn some general truth?
These are only hints, I am not asking you to explicitly answer all these for each paper. However, you may find those questions helpful in critically analysing the papers. Imagine you are a reviewer for a conference to which the papers have been submitted, and you are to judge their contribution to the field.
Note that all papers are in fact published and therefore won't be that bad.
What to submit
You are to submit a report which summarises for each paper the basic ideas behind their work. You are to give a critique of the technical merits, achievements and shortcomings (if any). The papers are not directly related, so you don't have to compare them. For each paper, please structure your assessment under the following four headings (and put these headings explicitly into your report):
- Problem that the paper tries to address
- Coverage of related work
- Originality and technical soundness of the underlying ideas
- Evaluation of the presented approach
I am intentionally not specifying a length limit. However, I strongly encourage you to be concise. Lengthy submissions will almost certainly be unfocussed and waffly. I cannot imagine a decent job in excess of 3000 words, and would imagine that a very good submission would stay well below 2000 words per paper. If your report gets longer than this you should step back and try to focus.
Note: In order to help me to perform an unbiased assessment of your report, I would appreciate if you do not put your name on the report itself, only your student ID. Of course, your name must appear on the certificate (last page in the above structure) that is attached to the report. However, as long as this certificate is on a separate page, I can assess the reports without looking at names.
You will be marked on the level of understanding and critical analysis portrayed in you submission, all relative to what can be reasonably expected at your level.
There is one previous exam:
Moreover, AOS has been running the same type of exam for many years and you will find their previous exams to be useful guidelines. They are available for 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010 exams including sample reports. The main difference in the COMP4181 material is that an OS paper almost invariably will have a strong quantitative component, whereas this is not necessarily required in a programming languages paper. For example, a paper on a new type system will rarely have performance figures. Instead, it will have a formal component, such as formal typing rules and probably formal statements about these rules. The important point is that almost any good paper will either have a strong quantitative component or a strong formal component.