Monday, 11 August 2014

My PhD is Getting Closer For Its Completion

Back again just after a few days from my last post. Sounds very strange because I don't always have the time to post unless I am really in a good mood to write something. Nah...today's post is about how I feel the progress of my PhD. I have completed just over 2 years 2 months of my PhD and it is getting closer and based on the recent results I've got this everything seems to be getting more exciting. Oh by the way the only reason I have very little time to write this post is because I am running an experiment again and while it's running I think it wold be better to do something...and that something is updating my blog. LOL!

Earlier results I got last Saturday while I was writing this post showed that combining different methods seems to produce better results. So that's good! I did some simple operations to find whether my framework is really working or not and it seems to be working fine...what I'm doing now is just to make sure the framework is really work instead of just a fluke! I don't think I will get the results by today but I just hope that all three experiments can be completed by tomorrow morning. At the moment my prostate cancer algorithm framework has the accuracy of ~90% but again I need to verify all of them by re running all three experiments an do a thorough calculation.

It's getting closer but I'm not sure if it is closer for a completion but certainly it is one step closer. Throughout the years of my PhD nothing came easily...just before you think you are done or you got it, something will happen and somehow you could lose your way within your project. Hence, for this moment I would like to say I am a step closer but how far to go I'm not so sure. My brain is so tired...I mean doing a PhD is something that I thought I could do but I'm riding it now..faster and slower and softer and sometimes harder..how knows when I will stop but certainly I have drawn the boundary after the first year of my PhD. I can't wait to finish my PhD..it is really tiring...it's like every day is an exam :-(

But I know I am strong and I will never give up until the moment I put the round hat on my head :-)
I am here...riding it rapidly...never give me never ever....as long as I'm breathing..the word 'give up' would never appear in my head :-)

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Squeezing My Brain Before a Short Holiday

Hollaaa...back again in my little blog trying to make sure my blog is not too empty or at least something is happening :-) The moment I'm writing this post I am waiting my desktop to produce experiment results. I ran it yesterday and decided to play badminton hoped that it will just do its work and will email me the results when I got back home. Unfortunately, when reading the 357th data, something went wrong. As a result, It stopped working and produced an error which needed to be fixed. When I finished badminton and got home, I checked my email and didn't get a report from my algorithm. Then I thought there must be an error somewhere while reading one of the data. This morning, when I got the office and check MatLab, yeah I was spot on! So I had to fix a few parts of the algorithm to make it working again. But this time instead of reading it from the first data I started reading the data where it stopped  before. But I have to save all the results from 1st data till 356th data. I have about 450 data all together and I just copy and paste all of them and analyse the results combination.
This is my desk in the office..writing this post while waiting my algorithm to complete its job

Anyway, It will be very busy week in the next three weeks. I have to prepare my journey to Ireland for another conference. I am looking forward to see the place. I got the feeling that it will be fairly similar with England? Wales or Scotland? Mmmm...I'm not sure but my gut is telling me these places will be very similar. That is why I am so looking forward to see Italy instead of Ireland. Well, it would another holiday for me (if you call it a short holiday) and the most important thing is to meet up with another PhD students and hopefully will make some friends :-) . But before that, I have to do a short talk to the Department's workshop on the 20th of  August and that is in a few weeks time (less than two weeks actually). I need to arrange my flights and also hotel. Just after my conference I will be heading back to London as my friend nick is coming for a visit in the UK. I will update soon regarding to our preliminary plan on Nick's visit :-). Yeah all the way from North Borneo and I am excited to visit Paris, Belgium and Holland (of course England, Wales and Scotland as well). One of the most exciting and fun thing to do is camping (hopefully we can do this) as well as climbing mountains :-). But at the moment I have a task which I need to do by next Friday (next week) and have to report my Professor about the initial outcomes. Fingers crossed I will get some good results. But it will be very very busy...it's Saturday today and I am in the office on my own working on it and need to implement a couple of experiments.....Till now see ya....I got the results already...looks better than my latest method? Mmmmm...I will update soon...

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Accepted for Ireland and Italy!!

Hello All...after several weeks I have been silent from my blog here I am updating my blog again. Updating my blog is a pleasure for me because since I started my PhD I have been so busy and didn't have much time to update it. In fact, at one point of my PhD I almost forgot the fact that I have a blog. I have put so much effort into my PhD in the last 2 years 1 month of my PhD and I hope I can finish my study in 3 years. It's not because I don't enjoy what I'm doing but I really think it's time for me to get a job and start to think about my future especially the financial side of my life. If my parents were rich then I wouldn't mind to have another two years of my PhD by concentrating more on journal publications...

After a double rejections in my previous post, I almost  lost my motivation to do my research. In fact, I thought I must be really stupid because my two papers got rejected at the international conferences. Even more hurtful when you got some stupid comments or unhelpful feedback from the reviewers make you think weather they read your paper carefully or just simply scan your paper. But for more than two years, my experience writing paper is you will definitely get stupid comments from reviewers. Maybe this is one of the main reasons why it is important to submit into very high ranking conferences. But then the acceptance rate will be very low and if your papers keep rejected by them it can be very demotivated. As a result you feel like you don't really want to do your research and eventually lose your interest. Nah..this is very dangerous..if you loosing your interest then your performance will be slowing down and at one point if you are not resistant enough  you will stop and most probably end up with MPhil or you don't even get it. That's why all of my conference papers I submitted into average conferences (acceptance rate between 40% to 60%). High ranking conferences' acceptance rates are ranging between 10% to 30%. I just wish I had the time to do more investigation of my research so I could have better publications. I'm still aiming to submit paper into MICCAI and Medical Image Analysis journal which are the top publications in medical imaging.

Anyway...after almost a month rewriting my papers and submitted them into two conferences in Ireland and Italy, finally they got accepted. I am very happy indeed because I've invested so much time into one of the two my papers. When I got the first notification email from the conference organiser saying that my paper got accepted for an oral presentation I was over the moon and felt like.."yeah I did it and I know I can do it..". Perhaps two weeks after that I got another notification email from a conference in Italy saying that my paper got accepted for an oral presentation. It was a fantastic news of course. One more time I thought "yeah I did it again! oh yeahhhh..now i'm going to Italy". Yeah I am very happy because I'm going to Milan in Italy. I really hope that I have the chance to see Venice because people said this is probably the best spot to see the beauty of Italy. I can't wait to try their food of course especially their spaghetti!! Yesterday I have just completed final version of the papers and the conference registrations (for both of them). Today I spent most of my time surveying hotels and flight tickets to Ireland and Italy. I found a few but haven't booked yet. I should do it very soon to get the best deal even though the department will pay it. The thing is I always like to get better deals..I mean why should pay more if we can get a cheaper price?...ok..ok enough about that..it's the second day of eid mubarak (the muslim festival..not sure if I spelt it correctly) and I'm carving for all sort of different biscuits. For me..it is difficult to find pretty and delicious biscuits in the UK or at least this is true at where I live (Wales). They are plenty of puddings or cakes but not biscuits. Most of them are not hand made biscuits but machine made LOL!  They don't taste nice ..well some of them but most of them don't taste  good. I am at the moment missing Malaysian food so badly especially the food from Borneo. Really really badly...If I'm honest the food in the UK are ridiculously plain and almost tasteless..and boring because most of them were cooked in ovens or microwaved. Arghhhh..that's really bad..that's why most British don't know how to cook when it comes to using fire. I like cooking with fire but most people here are cooking with ovens or microwaves. For me that's not cooking but your just heating up your food to cook it. Cooking when there are several processes involved in it. not just simply take a chicken out from the fridge put some olive oil and black papers and put it into the oven and wait for 2 hours and...ta..da...it's cook. wow! that's magic! LOL! (this is not cooking)...

Enough about that because at the moment I am sleepy and lazy and not in a mood. Today is a bad day for me..I feel like I want to scream on top of my lung!! But I'm trying to calm down myself and nothing had happened. I think I better have a run and hopefully I feel better after :-)


Monday, 12 May 2014

The 'Joy' of Double Rejection


Hell ya! Today's entry is about the 'joy' of double rejection. I bet many of you have been rejected before or probably I should say unsuccessful rather than that nasty word. There is no joy of being rejected of course. I my previous post I talked about how was my feeling after my ICPR paper has been rejected. In fact, I said I managed to get better results. Well, it was true. But the saddest part is as soon as I posted the entry, I received an email regarding to my MIUA paper decision. I must say it was the earliest paper decision I have every received in the last two years. In all conferences I have attended or submitted a paper before, all of them extended the 'Author Notification' date to one or two days late. Initially when I open my uni email, I got an email with a header something like 'Decision paper number 49' and I thought it can't be because it was about 3 days earlier than the date posted on the conference's website. Then I slowly opened it and so scared to read the email. What I did instead is looking for any 'happy words' such as 'delightful', 'congratulations', 'pleased', etc. But you know what? I didn't find any of these words but I found the word 'regret'! Oh Shit!!! as soon as I saw this I said to myself this is another unlucky paper. Oh!!! I was really disappointed and I can feel my blood was boiling that time. I can feel my vein kicking and pumping off my red blood to my brain which caused millions of questions. For the first few minutes, it was really really hard to accept the fact that my paper has been rejected (after my ICPR paper has been rejected recently). I was so fucking upset but after half an hour my blood pressure went down. I think if I had measured my blood pressure in the first a few minutes it went up to 180/90 which is very very dangerous (I could be dead after reading the email LOL!).

I read the feedback from the reviewers. The same to ICPR, one reviewer accepted it and the other two rejected it. Next I read every single line of their comments to make sure I am wrong in some parts of my paper. I agreed with some of their comments (maybe about 20%) but the other 80% I don't think their comments are helpful. In fact, some of the comments show how naive he/she is in image processing (am I being over the top now? probably...but until you've seen this one particular comment then you understand me LOL!). Anyway, on the good side of his/her comments, he/she suggested me to do one thing which is to normalise my histograms. Initially I disagreed because histogram normalisation is implemented when we want to measure similarity between two histograms. But I persuaded my 'black heart' to just bloody do it and see how's the results. I took about 10 or 15 minutes to modify my algorithm and ran the program. After about 3 hours I got the results...ta..da...............surprisingly accuracy, sensitivity and specificity have increased 4% which makes my method produced almost 90% accuracy. But then it was only 4% and I'm still not sure how significant the increments are. But the main thing is..it is visually better to present 89% sensitivity instead of 85%.

After a long discussion with my supervisor we agreed that the reviewers did not read thoroughly my paper. They probably jumped from the first line to the third line and to the seventh line. If this is the way they did it then I would say I hope their papers will be rejected as well in other journals or conferences (wow...is this me? swearing LOL!). If my ICPR rejected paper is submitted to Portugal, my MIUA rejected paper will be submitted to Ireland. Well..well...well....what do you know? there might be reasons behind of double rejection? God knows! In a couple of weeks time I will be going to London. I hope that I can present my ICCCV paper fluently and I hope London brings some luck to me :-)......Summer is around the corner and I can wait to wear my shorts and t-shirts again. Phewwww.....I am tired I need a break either in June or July.

Friday, 2 May 2014

Taking My Deep Breaths

Holla la...it's me again the Dr.Jungle boy who is always dreaming and chasing his dreams. Every day he tries his best to make one of his dreams comes one step closer. Anyway...that's not what I want to talk about in this post. The thing is that I want to talk about what I have been doing in the last two months since my last update. If you followed my previous post about how disappointed I was with the rejection of my paper, finally I managed to get over of it. Really? Yeah after several weeks. In fact, I now can say there is a reason why my paper was rejected. I took about 3 solid weeks to do further investigation about the rejected paper or method. I lots of modification not only the paper but the algorithm. In terms of line of code, it was previously less than 100 but after huge changes it's now 400. That's a lot! I mean for s single algorithm in a single conference paper. When when it comes to writing or explaining the method in the paper, I was struggling to make it 8 pages. Initially I made 10 pages and till several revisions, I managed to make it 9 pages. I sent it to my supervisor and very pleased because he took only several days to review it. He got back to me with some very useful feedback and finally I managed to make it 8 pages. I submitted the paper into ICIAR conference which will be held in Portugal. This time I am very positive with my method and I really hope the paper will be reviewed by the right people and hopefully will get accepted.

The most challenging part is developing my other method while my heart is still bleeding. I mean it was in March when I was aiming to submit a paper into MIUA conference which will be held in London. The main reasons why I wanted to submit a paper into this conference is this conference is a medical based one which means all presenters will be most likely come from medical imaging people. It will be very good because in general in every presentation you have general idea of what they will be talking about. In many conferences, most of them are generic and most probably you will end up attending a presentation which are not within your research interests. Second reason is, my supervisor is one of the steering committees of this conference. So I would like to support this conference (by submitting a paper into it). Anyway...I got the new of my paper rejection when I was developing this MIUA method (and writing the paper) and I was shattered and feel like I wanted to cry. Really? was it that bad? Yeah It was really that bad because I really wanted to attend ICPR conference and wanted to see Sweden of course. Another thing is, it's a huge conference and will be attended by hundreds of different people from all over the world. In networking point of view, this is a golden opportunity of course and making new friends! But hey! I missed it but I have already promised to myself to submit a new paper to this conference again. I will make sure to give my best shot this time! Somehow I managed to survive from March and April. It was horrible months and experience of course (not much in April but March). I do hope May will be a better month for me and June will be much nicer.

After I submitted my MIUA and ICIAR paper, it was the journal. It was a difficult one because I had to write about 17 pages (maximum 20 pages). It was a long paper and the longest paper ever I have written. I submitted it to the co-authors and got feedback from them. Very useful comments actually. After several weeks of hurdles I finally submitted my journal and I hope God would give me some good results in the next a few months. Waiting the decision results of your conference/journal papers are worse than waiting your exam results. Because in many exams you actually know how well you did during the exams but it is very different in writing paper. You are basically proposing something you think which is right and of course there is no definite answer for that. But different reviewers have different opinions about what you think right. In their views it could be completely crap or something unacceptable at all. So it is actually very difficult to justify the criteria of an accepted paper. In many cases (which I believe many research students have done in the past) you will try to follow a general set of rules of a 'good paper'. For example, precise writing, flawless errors grammatically, using graphics to explain complicated subjects, all sections are connected each other, convincing results, experiment of a massive data, etc. Well, you name it!!!! I bet many PhD students have done this before but I'm telling you that those criteria are very subjective. Again I'm saying this..different reviewers have different opinions about it.

Right! Enough about it...because I really don't want to talk about it anymore. In the last four months I have written one journal three conference papers and I am now really tired mentally. I am now taking deep breaths and just enjoying my badminton sessions. This May I want to enjoy the month and free pressure from doing any sort of experiments. However, I am at the moment developing a new method again. Yeah a new method believe it or not. This idea came when I was reading about local binary pattern. So this new method will be based on the idea of local binary pattern. But this is not a local binary pattern based method. This is different of course! I used similarity measure metrics to measure if an unknown sample is malignant or normal based on the model constructed in the previous phase. Ha! that's sound so brilliant now LOL! But I'm taking this very slowly..I have about 30 days to do this before June. In June I am planning to combine all of my methods and hopefully will get good results. Okay folks my coffee has gone cold..now I need to make a new one and enjoy it :-)

P/s: Feeling blessed cuz I have this precious time to update my blog :-) 

Thursday, 27 March 2014

The Evil March

Well, here I am updating my blog just because March is an evil month for me. It has been several weeks since I updated my blog back in France. Now it's time to moan about my life being a PhD student again. I have been moaning about traveling on my own, not sure if doing a doctorate is something that I should be doing or not, and many other stuffs. Oh Shit! That's life!. Anyway, the thing is I have been working so hard recently writing papers got accepted. But recently, my paper got rejected which made me feel like I want to scream on top of my lung. The moment I received the email, my hurt beats like I just finish a 100m sprint. I was excited but at the same time I feel very nervous. Line by line I read the email till the moment I saw the word 'regret' then I realised my attempt this time is unsuccessful. Oh holly shit and crap! I always have faith with my paper especially if the paper is based on my own work. I believe that the method which I proposed in the paper has better potential in doing its job in comparison to some of the methods in the literature. But this is life, people don't think like the way you think.

But hey you..I never expect people to think like the I think, far from wanting them to think like the way i think. But I would expect people to think twice before they even say something about my work. This sounds like I can't accept the fact that my paper has been rejected. No! that's untrue! Because I can accept any criticisms but they have to be constructive. The first reviewer commented a few things about my paper which I think make sense. The second reviewer accept my paper with a few minor corrections. But the third reviewer sounds a little idiot. After discussion with my supervisor this afternoon, he also think the same. The third reviewer might be one in the 20%. For me 80% of the reviewers I would categorised qualified and the other 20% I would say, they might be qualified but they don't really understand with your work, or probably they are just too lazy to read the whole paper and just give some stupid feedback of your paper based on their assumptions. Or it could be, they are so arrogant and just simply didn't like your paper because they thought it should be done like this rather than like that. Phewwww!!!!!

I still feel the pain, sadness and disappointment. Not sure how to mend it for the next few days. In fact, I would probably be miserable for the next a few weeks. Recently, I have written another paper and submitted it to a conference in London. Maybe I will be okay after getting a good news from the conference. Otherwise, if the decision result for my latest paper get rejected again then I will be super duper miserable. Even my recent paper I already feel like a shit and demotivated to do the rest of my other work. Let alone if my latest paper got rejected. I don't know where to put my face and brain. This is even worst after my meeting with my supervisor, because he disagreed with some of the comments from the reviewers. This makes me think that I deserve better comments and should be at least invited for a poster presentation. I don't like to say it let's put it like this. The first reviewer rejected my paper but the second reviewer accepted it. The third reviewer which basically will determine whether my paper will be accepted for my paper gave last resort to my paper. Which basically mean it's up to the committees chair to decide whether to accept it or not. As it happened, the chair rejected it. Not sure why because the comments from the third reviewer were pretty rubbish and didn't make sense at all. Arghhhhh...why?.....why?why?

Changing the topic, I also lost my badminton tournament last week. Close yet too far to reach the semi final. But I didn't mind much about it because I thought there will be good news coming soon. Then it comes to my paper decision result. The whole situation made everything even worst. Till now I am writing this post it is actually very annoying. I didn't feel very sad when my second paper got rejected because I knew there wasn't much work I've done in it. It was just a review paper which doesn't have the originality in it. But my ICPR paper which i submitted to Sweden, I do think is a novelty or some sort of contribution in it and knowing this paper is rejected is so heartbreaking. This result is really demotivated me especially my eagerness to write more conference papers. I used to enjoy writing a conference paper but now the feeling and excitement is a little but low than before. Haisshhhh.....that's life! Whatever the reason is I still don't like the fact that my paper which I thought (that time) was my best one. Arghhhhhhh.........

Anyway, I am going to revise my paper based on the reviewer's comments and going to submit it to a conference in Portugal. But before that I want to fully concentrate on my journal paper first.

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