Homework Specification: Review a Paper

Write a review of a paper that has been published. When CS professionals are asked to review a paper, they are usually asked to comment on things such as the following:

  1. Is the paper well-written? Could it be better organized in someway?
  2. Is the paper complete? Are important details left out? Are too many details given in some areas?
  3. Is the paper correct? To the best of your knowledge, does the paper make any claims that are not sufficiently obvious or justified by data or references?
  4. Are the objectives and the conclusions of the paper clearly-stated?
  5. Does the paper make a real contribution to the literature? Should it be published in an archival journal?

Since you will be reviewing a paper that has already been published, one hopes that these questions have been answered in the affirmative. However, in practice, you will often find papers that don't meet the highest standards in all these areas. In your review, as you are able, please address the points above. In general, you should not spend time on low-level details such as grammar or notation, unless it clearly detracts from the presentation. You should include in your review, however, a summary of the main ideas and structure of the paper.

Note that this assignment --- a review of a paper --- is not exactly the same as what is required when you referee a paper. Referees are asked to give advice about the publishability of a paper that has been submitted to a journal or conference. Hence, a referee would not bother to do much summarizing of the paper, but would spend more time on specific, detailed complaints about the presentation, organization, notation, etc. See Sections 8.3 and 8.4 in Higham for a discussion of the refereeing process.

Note: you may do this exercise for up to two different papers.