做研究与写论文【周志华教授】

本文内容来自于周志华老师在2007年的报告《做研究与写论文》

首先讲到研究与研发的区别,其主要区别在于“新”:

  • 研究:发现新知识、发明新技术
  • 研发:根据已有知识和技术进行研制、开发

科学研究可以扩展人类的知识,没有科学研究就没有技术进步

如何做研究?

研究的基本过成可以分为TPIC,即Topic -> Problem -> Idea -> Concrete work (theoretical analysis, experiments).

1、Topic

计算机科学发展到今天,已经是一个非常广袤的学,先要进入一个具体的分支学科和领域,并获 得必要的了解(如NLP,CV等)。即使在一个分支学科和领域中,也有太多的话题(如NLP中的文本分类,文本摘要,预训练模型等)。

热点分布与可能对应的研究现状如下图所示:

在这里插入图片描述

  • 这只是目前CS中的一般情况,国内往往滞后一段时间
  • 科学发展往往是螺旋式上升的:“冷”了很久的一个topic,可能由于新的经典工作而重新“热”起来

2、Problem

“问题”是科学研究的心脏 !

  • 任何有价值的研究,都是为了解决某个问题
  • 提出一个好的问题,已经成功了一半

“问题”其实才是研究的真正开始

  • 这可能是CS研究中最困难的部分
  • 会找问题,是具有独立研究能力的标志

3、Idea

你也许会有很多idea,导师可以帮助你判断、改善 有了好的idea,问题就解决了一大半;

如果一下想不到好的idea,不要着急;

博士期间能做出一项重要的工作就已经很好了。

4、Concrete work

Idea需要得到支持 CS里面通常是理论分析实验验证

理论分析往往需要比较好的数学功底,实验验证通常需要较好的实验设计能力。

没有相应的能力怎么办?

  • 找人合作

两者都不容易,到博士念完,至少在某方面应该是得心应手了。

理论分析

  • 周全、不要有漏洞
  • 尽可能简单的工具

实验验证

  • 实验方案周全仔细
  • 基准测试
  • 其他学者也能使用的数据
  • 不可缺少的比较
  • 实验是可重复的

必要的分析和解释

  • Strength/weakness
  • How/When strong?
  • Why strong?
  • How/When weak?
  • Why weak?

小结一下

Topic -> Problem -> Idea -> Concrete work
对一项具体的CS研究工作来说:

  • 找到好的问题是关键
  • 有了好的idea,问题就解决了一大半
  • 具体、坚实的工作是必经的过程

如何写论文?

你需要说的其实就是这些 :

  • Problem X is important
  • Previous works A, B, and C have been done
  • A, B, and C have their weakness
  • Your work D
  • Theoretic analysis
  • Experimental comparison against A, B, and C
  • Why D is better
  • Strength and weakness of D
  • Future work on D

Outline

科学论文有比较清晰的结构,一般包括 :

  • Title
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Previous work
  • Your contribution
  • Support (theoretical or experimental) – Discussion
  • Conclusion
  • Reference

Title

清楚地表达出主要工作

  • 字数忌长(尽可能不要超过20字)
  • 有吸引力

An example:

  • “甲地区乙时期丙昆虫交配过程的跟踪研究及其结果”
  • “昆虫交配后吃掉配偶的原因探讨”
  • “昆虫求偶过程中的献身行为”
  • “Eat me!”
    • The title of an <Science> paper

Abstract

Purpose: Summarize your contributions

Style:

  • What is the problem
  • What is your work
  • Features of your work
  • Advantages of your work
  • Results

Introduction

Purpose: Background and organization of the paper

Style:

  • Problem X is important
  • A, B, and C have been done
  • A, B, and C have their weakness
  • Our work D
  • Features and advantages of D
  • Results
  • Organization of the paper

Previous work

Purpose: Why your work, the differences

Style:

  • Categorization of previous works
  • One or two sentences for a work
    • Strength
    • Weakness

Don’t over-criticize previous works

Your contribution

Purpose: Introduce your work

Style:

  • Motivation
  • Definition, notation
  • Algorithm
    • Pseudo-code
    • Diagram
    • Explanations

If you were the reader, what questions will you ask?

Theoretical analysis

Purpose: Theoretical support to your work

Style:

  • Definition, notation (can be omitted if exist)
  • Lemma
  • Theorem
  • Proof

Put tedious details in Appendix

Experiments

Purpose: Experimental support to your work

Style:

  • Experimental design
    Be sure that other researchers can repeat your experiments according to your descriptions

  • Comparison

  • Discussion
    What is revealed by the experiments?

Put tedious details in Appendix

Discussion

Purpose: The relationship between your work and some very related works

Style:

  • Work A
    • Why it is very related
    • Difference to your work
  • Work B
    • Why it is very related
    • Difference to your work

Conclusion

Purpose: Summary and future work

Style:

  • Summary
  • Future work

Acknowledgement Reference Appendix

Misconceptions

Misconceptions 1:

The more, the better

Don’t provide too many “new” ideas in a paper. Try your best to focus on your core work

Misconceptions 2:

The more complex, the better

Try to make your paper easy to be understood.

Remember: You are showing your thoughts instead of confusing the readers

Mathematical language is to help you clearly express your thoughts, not to show your depth

Misconceptions 3:

The more selling, the better

Don’t exaggerate too much on your work. The reviewers/readers will judge it.

Misconceptions 4:

The more authoritative, the better

Don’t refer too many own work while ignoring others

Don’t behave as a bigshot if you were not

Tricks

  • Read more, write more

  • Use good papers as samples to simulate but not to copy

  • Use simple sentences

  • Not to show your elegance unless you are very famous

  • Try to avoid syntax errors
    Good work won’t be rejected for syntax, but at least the paper should be readable

  • Make your abbreviations easy to be pronounced

    • e.g. STARE is better than SBRE “STAtistics-based Rule Extraction”
  • Typeset according to the requirements of the target

  • Revise, revise, and revise

    • each time lay your paper aside for some time ask other persons to read your paper
  • Improve from comments

总结

论文是为研究工作服务的

  • 为了论文而论文,若非生计所迫, 就是浪费生命
  • 在“高档”期刊会议上发表10篇被引用0次的 论文,远不如在“低档”期刊会议发表1篇被 引用10次的论文

古今做学问者必经的三个境界:

  • 昨夜西风凋碧树,独上高楼, 望尽天涯路
  • 衣带渐宽终不悔,为伊消得人憔悴
  • 众里寻他千百度,蓦然回首,那人却在灯火阑珊处

学问苦乐,日久自悟

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