2017 ACN M2 Scientific Project Guideline

Note: To download a full list of proposals, please click 2017 proposal.  


  • Jiazi Yi                           jiazi.yi (at) polytechnique (d0t) edu
  • Luigi Iannone               luigi.iannone (at) telecom-paristech.fr

1. Introduction

The Scientific Project of the ACN program, with class code INF677C, is a class that aims at developing the research skills by conducting a real project related to networking under supervision of one or more tutors from academia or/and industry.

It will start from Sep.  2017, and finish in the end of Feb. 2018. Every Thursday is the official time assigned for working on the project. However, to obtain a satisfactory results, more time would be required.

By doing the project, one should enhance skills in conducting research in a specific problem, which include:

  • Clearly identify the problem that needs to be resolved by understanding the state of art. It includes set a research objective, define its scope and expected contributions.
  • Analyse the problem and propose appropriate resolutions.
  • Find or develop tools to solve the problem and verify the proposals. This includes mathematical modeling, simulation, building real testbeds, etc.
  • Write high-quality research papers that clearly introducing the background of the problem and its solutions.
  • Present/sell the proposals like what a researcher does in an academic conference.

The topics available are presented in Project Topic List. The students can choose their preferred topics, and contact corresponding tutors for further details.

The topic of the project MUST be verified by the scientific project coordinator as a valid scientific project. It MUST meet one or more of the following objectives:

  • Propose new theorems
  • Discover new facts/results
  • Verify and test importants facts
  • Analyse a process to identify the cause and effect relationship
  • Find solution to scientific problems
  • Develop new tools/methods
  • Validate/invalidate hypothesis

Generally speaking, the expected outcome of the project should be valuable for a submission to an academic conference, workshop, symposium, or IETF Internet Draft (not intended for April 1st RFC, of course).

It’s very important to note that, most of the advisors are NOT clear with the schedule and exact requirement of the class described in this guideline — don’t assume that they know about the schedule, submission of different intermediate reports, requirement of final short papers, etc.

As motivation is a basic requirement of this class, it’s your job to keep everything running on track, not your advisors’.

2. Project Schedule

Here is a tentative schedule of the scientific project:

September 22: choose the topics.

Please check the topics available in the project topic list and make you choice through the blockPlease note that: 

  • You are welcome to contact the advisors asking more details of the proposed project before making your choice. 
  • After finding your preferred topic, the first thing you need to do is contact the advisors to ask their agreement to get accepted in the project. Your potential advisors have right to reject your request based on their own judgment, considering the administrative issues (for example, some security/defence projects require French nationality) or technical issues (e.g., certain skills are required for the project). If you get rejected, please reconsider other topics. 
  • Except very few of the proposals, each topic can be done only by 1 student. 
  • You MAY contact professors or researchers by yourself to build a project together.
  • After the topic is chosen (i.e., an agreement is made between you and the supervisor), please send your choice to the project coordinators.

September 29: Feedback from the project coordinator/advisors, depending on the cases:

– no feedback before Oct. 2nd: the topic is validated.

– need to elaborate the project (such as scientific value, project description, etc.), to make sure the requirements of the projects can be met

– the topic is not qualified as a scientific research project, so another choice has to be made.

October 31: submission of preliminary report (max 4 pages. the recommended format is described in section 3.1.2), with:

– state of the art

– problem identification

– proposed approach, tools to be used, if available

– future plan of the project and results can be expected

Begin of Jan: submission of midterm report (max 4 pages)

– the approach applied

– results obtained

– the plan for the next step

NOTE: the content in the preliminary report and middle term report can be reused in the final paper, if necessary.

Middle of February: submission of the final short paper and slide deck

Please check section 3 Expected Outcome for further information

End of February & begin of March: oral presentations.

Please check section 3 Expected Outcome for further information

3. Expected Outcome

By the end of the project, a short research paper must be submitted, and orally presented in front of a “Scientific Project Jury”. This section introduces the requirements of the research paper and oral presentation.

3.1 Short Research Paper

A short research paper is expected to be submitted by the end of the scientific project, in the format of an academic conference. It

  • MUST NOT exceed 6 pages
  • MUST contain an abstract, an introduction including a concise presentation of the project, a proper presentation of state-of-the-art/related work, and sufficient details of the scientific work to “permit repetition of the work by an interested 3rd party”, and a clear and concise conclusion also outlining directions for future work.
  • The paper MUST clearly outline the student’s contribution, as well as the value hereof.

3.1.1 Paper Organization

The short paper must contain a descriptive title, author names and affiliations, an abstract, several keywords, an introduction, a review of the state of the art, the question to be resolved, the solution/results of the paper, discussions/observations, and finally conclusions. Related references MUST also be provided. More precisely: 


It should be concise and informative. Abbreviations and formulae should be avoided. 


The abstract should state briefly the purpose of the research, the principal results and major conclusions. An abstract is often presented separately from the article, so it must be able to stand alone. For this reason, References should be avoided, but if essential, then cite the author(s) and year(s). Also, non-standard or uncommon abbreviations should be avoided, but if essential they must be defined at their first mention in the abstract itself.

The abstract must be carefully written or clarity, and normally shouldn’t exceed 150 words, which is not always easy. 


Immediately after the abstract, provide a maximum of 5 keywords and avoiding general and plural terms and multiple concepts (avoid, for example, “and”, “of”). Be sparing with abbreviations: only abbreviations firmly established in the field may be eligible.


The introduction section should have following information:

  • The question statement and its background;
  • why the question is interesting/important.
  • description of the solution/approach briefly, so that a reader who is not familiar with the question can understand what was done and why. 
  • summarise the contribution, and conclusion of the paper.
  • Organisation of the following sections, so that the readers could have an idea what to expect.
Background / State of the Art

A description of pertinent literature should be provided, so that the reader who may not be a specialist in the question under discussion could establish connection with other results and studies. Depending on the content and length of this section, it may be merged with the Introduction section. 

Generally speaking, the contents above (title, abstract, introduction, background, etc.) should not exceed 2 pages. 

Research Solution / Results

This section is the main contribution of the paper and should describe what was actually done. 

For the results, the methodology and tools used for producing the results should be illustrative, so that the results are reproducible. 

Make liberal use of tables, figures and diagrams. 

Observations / Discussion

Present and summarize the major point of the work by analysing the results obtained, and convince the reader that the problem is properly addressed. The successful results, as well as the failures, should be all discussed. 


As the last section of the paper, it concludes the paper by pointing out the major contributions, and perhaps the future work that can be done to improve the work in related fields. 


The conclusion is followed by a list of references items. Please note that the references should be concrete and stable publications, such as books, academic papers, standard documents, etc. A bad example of reference is Wikipedia pages: they are edited by random people, and keep changing all the time.

3.1.2 Paper format

It is recommended to used IEEE conference template, provided by http://www.ieee.org/conferences_events/conferences/publishing/templates.html .

3.2 Oral Presentation

The oral presentation is of the same format as that for a short paper for an academic conference. The oral presentation:

  • Is done by each student individually
  • Lasts no more than 15 min
  • Does not consist of a simple reiteration of the content of the “Short Paper”
  • Puts the results obtained in perspective
  • Is followed by a 10 min Q&A session with the “Scientific Project Jury”
  • A slide deck (electronic or otherwise) is authorized — if used, a copy of the slide deck MUST be submitted at the same time as the “Short Paper”

4. Project Evaluation

The Scientific Projects are evaluated by way of a written “Short Paper”, which is orally presented in front of a “Scientific Project Jury”.

Each student is evaluated individually, and is graded individually. Grades, on the scale A-B-C-D-E-F, are given according to the “M2-ACN General Grading Guidelines”, with the following additional constraints, by providing a ceiling for the final grade — and which MUST be respected:

  • The grade A is to be given to a project which, both in scientific content, and in quality of written and oral presentation, would be acceptable as an original contribution to an academic conference, workshop, or symposium.
  • The grade B is to be given to a project which, in terms of quality of written and oral presentation satisfies the same considerations as for the grade A, but which in terms of scientific content has potential, but which would require a little more work to reach the expected quality for being acceptable as an original contribution to an academic conference, workshop, or symposium.
  • The grade C is systematically the maximum grade possible for a project which does not satisfy the formal requirements: for example, if the page limit or formal content of the “Short Paper” is not respected, or if a slide deck is used during the oral presentation, which was not submitted as the same time of the “Short Paper”. The grade C requires, in any case, some original contributions
  • The grade D is systematically the maximum grade possible for a project, which does not contain any original contributions.
  • The grade E is systematically the maximum grade possible for a project, where it is clear that the student does not master the context, or the state of the art.
  • The grade F is systematically the maximum grade possible when a student does not submit his or her “Short Paper” by the specified deadline, or if the student does not show up on time on the day of his or her oral presentation. This grade MAY also be given in other exceptional circumstances, at the discretion of the president of the “Scientific Project Jury”.