How to write Discussion/Analysis section of a Research Paper
The Discussion section represents the analysis of your research paper. It has to be presented in an understandable and intriguing way to the readers who are interested in studying the analysis of results. It is what all of your hard-work of writing the hypothesis, collecting and designing the data, conducting the statistical analysis of graphs and preparing the summary sums up to. The discussion section of a research paper has a sole purpose of explaining every single step from initiation of the research to the result. Therefore, it is extremely important that a researcher understands how to write the discussion section of a research paper.
Here are the major elements to keep in mind while writing the discussion section;
1. The Relevance of the Research: The purpose of every research is to implement the results for the positive development of the relevant subject. The discussion should have this major factors listed before beginning to describe about how the research was conceived and the sequence of developments that took place.
Example: Robot navigation system has to handle large amount of uncertain data in real life environment. In the proposed experiment the Fuzzy logic addresses this problem as it takes uncertain data, processes it and obtains certain and finite data.
2. Acknowledgements of the Limitations: If the research is on a subject that might have legal limitations or restrictions that might have caused certain imperfections, it should be acknowledged by the researcher before the work is criticized by others later.
Example: The object motion prediction is done by incorporating human experience in the form of fuzzy inference rules. It is assumed that, the environment is observed through stereo vision technique. The observed environment covers semi circular area in front of the Robot.
3. Introduction of the Discoveries: Begin by stating all the major findings in the course of the research. The first paragraph should have the findings mentioned, which is expected to be synoptic, naming and briefly describing the analysis of results.
Example: In the proposed work the predictor has been evaluated with three well known defuzzification techniques. Based on the analysis of results, it has been found that Mean Of Maximum defuzzification technique has lower response time and better accuracy.
4. Discussing the Findings: Coming to the major part of the findings, the section should interpret the key observations, the analysis of charts and the analysis of tables. The researcher has to;
• Begin with explaining the objective of the research, followed by what inspired you as a researcher to study the subject.
• Explain the meaning of the findings, as every reader might not understand the analysis of graphs and charts as easily as people who are in the same field as you.
• The reader should be able to understand the key observations without being forced to go through the whole paper.
Example : Figure 5 in the results section represent the average relative error observed for the prediction algorithm for various test cases using Min Max, MOM and COA defuzzification techniques. For each test case average response time is also calculated to find its suitability to real life environment. The prediction algorithm is tested by processing the real life video frames (which are captured at every interval of 02 seconds). It is observed that the predictor with MOM defuzzification performs better in terms of response time and less relative error. The navigation environment is presented in the form of Prediction graph where x axis represents the Range parameter and the y axis represents the Angle parameter. The predicted Angle and Range values are compared with actual values obtained from real-life environment In most of the cases the predicted values are in the region of the actual measured range and Angle values. Figure 6. illustrates some of the results obtained for path prediction using MOM defuzzification. The performance of the predictor is tested when more than one objects are sensed by the sensor. The response time of the predictor for all the objects should be acceptable for real-life applications. The tests are carried out assuming at most 6-8 objects can be visible and can affect the decisions to be made regarding robot traversal(Figure 7). In real life applications the Robot has to deal with multiple number of objects and the total response time for all the objects motion prediction should be less than the time gap between two sensor readings. Proposed predictor is able to generate results suitable for real life situations.
5. Comparison and Relating: No one is ever the only person researching on a particular subject. A researcher always has companions and competitors. The discussion section should have a detailed comparison to researches. It should present the facts that relates the research to studies done on the same subject.
Example : Table 2 compares some of the well known prediction techniques with our fuzzy predictor with MOM defuzzification for response time, relative error and Environmental constraints. Based on the results obtained it can be concluded that the Fuzzy predictor with MOM defuzzification has less relative error and quick response time as compared to other prediction techniques. Proposed predictor is more flexible, simple to implement and deals with noisy and uncertain data of real life situations. The relative error of 5-10% is acceptable for our system as the predicted fuzzy region and the fuzzy region of actual position remains the same.
6. Alternative Explanations: Almost every time, it has been noticed that analysis of charts and graphs show the results that tend to have more than one explanation. The researcher must consider every possible explanation and potential enhancement of the study from alternative viewpoints. It is critically important that this is clearly put out to the readers.
Example: On critical observation of the graphs in environments where number of objects are less and response time is critical Min-Max method can be used as its response time is better as compared to COA and MOM methods.
7. Suggest Future Directions: The section must have suggestions for researches that should be done to unanswered questions. These should be suggested in the beginning to avoid questions being asked by critics. Emphasizing the importance of following future directions can lead to new researches as well.
Example: The authors are in the process of further optimizing the rulebase and improve the response time of the predictor. Further improvements in relative error parameter optimization of Min Max method may lead to highly efficient MinMax Predictor .