Our Final Year Research Journey
Hi again! This time it’s not a review or a tutorial, It’s actually a story. The story of our final year research project. First of all what is it? The final year research project/ FYP or CDAP as in SLIIT terms, is a full one year module which has to be completed during the 4th academic year. It is the most crucial module of all carrying a whopping 16 credits!
So there are like multiple predefined steps in our CDAP module. (Oh BTW CDAP stands for ‘Comprehensive Design & Analysis Project’). If I name some of those, there’s the initial workshop, topic assessment, charter submission, proposal presentation so and so. Let’s start fresh then, shall we?
Lope where taken!
You might be wondering what the fudge was that? Actually google translate ගත් තැනම ලොප් to English like that. So you get what I meant right. In order to expand that at first, we were hoping on building a smart drone solution for prevent forests like using open CV, Machine learning things like that. So we researched a lot on that area to gather as much as information during our vacation on 2019 December and we presented our idea to Dr. Nuwan Kuruwitaarachchi and he agreed to be our internal supervisor. Ah, I refer ‘WE’ because there are 4 people in this project. We created the proposal with nice diagrams and we were ready to present it YEAH!
So from about three weeks we are having our proposal presentation okay. Aaaand this happened.
So we couldn’t proceed with our proposal. We requested permission from Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka but they were willing to let us operate a drone only under the supervision of an Air force officer. So that was not practical at all, we can not ask them to come to supervise our work at every single time right?. So we ditched out that idea for good with our months of background search. We had to find a new idea quick and it had to be a good one too. So we started over. After a quite some time we agreed that the best niche for a modern research is medical science. We had a chat with Mr. Neranjan Anthony, who was the Business Manager at Sanofi Pharmaceuticals at that time and he suggested that it will be good if we try to do something in the area of diabetes. Then we went to see our SLIIT in-house medical officer to get an idea of what is the gap and how can we contribute to the field in question. It was a very informative session. He explained what are the applications we have right now and like what are the related areas we can have a look when we are coming up with a solution.
So for those who don’t know how dangerous diabetes can be let me show you a figure from 2015.
Surely these figures have gone up because it’s now 2021 and we eat sweets like never before stuck at homes. So we needed to come up with a clever solution for preventing diabetes. And thank god WE DID!
We were able to prepare a nice proposal with enough work load for a whole year (It’s a crucial point when it comes to CDAP) with 4 individual component modules for each group member. So there we presented our idea to the panel. Members of the panel were also agreed that there was a research gap and gave us some suggestions on our proposal. So our proposal finally got accepted Yay! Wait..
Yeah so in the middle of the research our supervisor Dr. Nuwan left SLIIT and joined the University of Sri J’pura. So yeah we had no supervisor. But thanks to him he didn’t leave us alone. Even though he was on another university he continued to support us through out the project. And we can not forget Dr. Dharshana Kasthurirathne who co supervised our team and helped us in varies ways too.
And to top it all Covid came in to play. Nice. Still with me right? Here’s a meme for you to re energize!
We couldn’t meet, interact with team members and work together. We were stuck. And guess what area we are doing our research on? Medical Science. Great! we could not even collect datasets for our machine learning models which we were hoping to do with real patients in Sri Lanka.
So there were 4 main objectives of our research project. Ah I forgot to mention our research was “Smart medical report analyzer for diabetes”. The main idea was to capture a medical report and give a comprehensive analysis on the patient’s condition considering diabetes, pre-diabetes, cardiovascular disease risk and other related diseases. So objectives.. yes,
- Application to capture images of the medical reports
- Give a comprehensive analysis of the report with the help of extra user input questionnaire
- Look for any connections with other related diseases and related predictions
- Implement a platform to communicate with the best physician available for each individual when needed
So we had to find online datasets to train the diabetes and cardio vascular models and the chat-bot as well. In my case after finding those I was able to create a machine learning model which could predict pre diabetes with the maximum accuracy of 89% with all the attributes used. To put into comparison the last model which used that data set was only able to offer a maximum accuracy of around 72%. Let’s talk how I did that in another blog. My mates were also able to complete their components with an awesome level of accuracy and efficiency. Throughout the module we were able to learn new machine learning techniques and we laid our hands on new frameworks and a lot more.
The hill top
Even though we faced a ton of problems during the journey we just never gave up. In later 2020, We were selected to represent SLIIT at NBQSA 2020 with our project. Unfortunately we couldn’t win that but still, that was an achievement right? And another awesome milestone was recently our research paper was selected to present as a full paper on the 6th International Conference for Convergence in Technology (I2CT), One of the Most Premium Conference of Asia Pacific. You can see more details here.
Basically that was the story of final year research project… In short. We recently finished our final presentations too. So the final take of this story? Do not give up even when you are at the verge of failure. Aight thaks for reading!
See you on the next blog. PEACE!