IS480 Team wiki:2017T2 Zenith FinalWiki

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Revision as of 19:15, 3 April 2018 by Amelia.lee.2015 (talk | contribs) (schedule)
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Zenith banner.png



Project Overview

Project Management


Main Wiki

Midterm Wiki Final Wiki

Zenith final header.PNG

Project Progress Summary

Finals Slides

Zenith Finals Slides

Deployed site link

Zenith deployment link.jpeg

Project Highlights

Our project schedule is divided into 13 iterations.

  • We are currently on our 12th iteration (26 Mar - 8 Apr 2018).
  • Up till 3 Apr 2018, we have completed 94% of our development progress.
  • 2 User Acceptance Tests were conducted before the Final Presentation. The results are shown here.
  • Achieved and exceeded Midterms X-factor. <<update after UAT>>

Unexpected events:

  • List of requirement changes after Midterms can be viewed here.

Project Management

Iteration Progress: 12 of 13
Features Completion: 94% (43 out of 46 features)
Confidence Level: 100%

Project Status:

A breakdown of tasks is shown in our project scope.

Zenith final scope.JPG

Note: will be updated after our last UAT.

Project Schedule (Plan Vs Actual):

Milestones Overview:

Planned (Acceptance) Actual (Midterms)

Zenith midterm actual timeline.png

Zenith final actual timeline.png

Project Schedule:

Planned Schedule (Midterm)

Zenith final expected schedule.png

Changes in planned schedule (Midterm)

Zenith final changed schedule.png

Actual Schedule (Final)

Zenith final actual schedule.png

Project Metrics:

Task metric

Zenith midterms task metric.png
Score TM <= 50 50 < TM <= 75 75 < TM <= 125 125 < TM <= 150 150 > TM
Action 1. Inform supervisor within 24 hours.
2. Re-estimate tasks for future iterations.
3. Consider dropping Tasks.
1. Re-estimate tasks for future iterations.
2. Deduct number of days behind from buffer days.
3. If there are no more buffer days, decide the functionalities to drop.
1. Our estimates are fairly accurate, and are roughly on track.
2. Add/deduct number of days ahead / behind from buffer days.
1. Re-estimate tasks for future iterations.
2. Add number of days ahead to buffer days.
1. Inform supervisor within 24 hours.
2. Re-estimate tasks for future iterations.

Bug metric

Zenith midterm bug count.png

Zenith midterm bug score.png
Note: There were no coding tasks for iteration 1.

Severity Low Impact High Impact Critical Impact
Description User interface display errors, such as out of alignment, colour used is not according to theme.

It does not affect the functionality of the system.

The system is functional with some non-critical functionalities are not working. The system is not functional.

Bugs have to be fixed before proceeding.

Points BM <= 5 5 < BM < 10 BM >= 10
Description The system does not need immediate fixing, could be fixed during buffer time or during coding sessions Coders to use planned debugging time in the iteration to solve the bug The team has to stop all current development and resolve the bug immediately

Project Risks:

Zenith risk metric.png
S/N Risk Type Description Likelihood Impact Level Threat Level Mitigation Plan
1 Technical Ransomware attacks on Database Low (but it happened) High B System Architect to improve database security
2 Organizational New members in NUS MedSense Team Medium Medium B Project Manager will be in constant communication with new members, and will regularly review the scope with them.
3 Project Management Members falling sick or going overseas doing school period, reducing team's available manpower. This can cause a potential delays in the project Medium Medium B Team members should constantly check on the health and well-being of one another, as well as update the Project Manager of any overseas plans as early as possible

Technical Complexity:

Natural Language Processing

Natural Language Processing, or NLP for short, is broadly defined as the automatic manipulation of natural language, like speech and text, by software. The study of natural language processing has been around for more than 50 years and grew out of the field of linguistics with the rise of computers.

Our team decided to employ NLP techniques to perform automated marking for open ended questions. This benefits the user as professors do not need to mark each answer and students can receive immediate feedback with regards to their answers.

Below are some of the techniques used:


Given a character sequence and a defined document unit, tokenization is the task of chopping it up into pieces, called tokens , perhaps at the same time throwing away certain characters, such as punctuation.

Zenith tokenization.PNG
An example of tokenization. Library used: Natural for Nodejs https://github.com/NaturalNode/natural#tokenizers

Removing Stopwords

Sometimes, some extremely common words which would appear to be of little value in helping select documents matching a user need are excluded from the vocabulary entirely. In natural language processing, Stopwords are words that are so frequent that they can safely be removed from a text without altering its meaning. Hence, for automated marking, we removed all common words from the submitted answer. Doing this significantly reduces the number of tokens our system has to match and store.

Zenith stopwords.png
An example of a stop list of 25 semantically non-selective words


For grammatical reasons, answers are going to use different forms of a word, such as organize, organizes, and organizing. Additionally, there are families of derivationally related words with similar meanings, such as democracy, democratic, and democratization. In these situations, we have to treat these words to be the same, as they have the same root meaning.

The goal of both stemming is to reduce inflectional forms and sometimes derivationally related forms of a word to a common base form.

We decided to use the Porter Stemming Algorithm (https://tartarus.org/martin/PorterStemmer/index.html) as it is the most popular algorithm for stemming English and has shown to be empirically very effective.

Porter's algorithm consists of 5 phases of word reductions, applied sequentially. Within each phase there are various conventions to select rules, such as selecting the rule from each rule group that applies to the longest suffix.

Zenith stemming.png
Example of a rule in the Porter Stemming Algorithm

Game development

Together with the NUS team, we developed a few basic game rules.

Leveling System

For our application, we introduce a leveling system for student. In its simplest form, leveling up occurs through the process of gaining enough experience points until a target experience point total is reached. Once the target is met, the student's character "levels up," and a new target experience threshold is set. Students gains experience points (XP) by attempting a medical case. The amount of XP is dependent on how well the student scores.

Currently, the main selling point of the medical cases is to practice for their exams. By introducing the leveling system, we hope to further incentivise students to attempt medical cases on our application. The idea is to ensure that students will be playing the cases throughout the year rather than just during peak (exam) periods.

Zenith leveling formula.PNG
Formula for calculating Level

Anti Cheat Mechanism for MCQ Scoring

There can be more than one correct answer for each MCQ questions. Hence we use multi-select MCQ questions in our game. However, the problem we face is that students can simply tick all the options to get the correct answer. Hence, we developed a rule that penalizes the student for every wrong option selected.

Anti Cheat Mechanism for Repeating Cases

Another rule we developed is to halve the total amount of experience points gained for each subsequent game play of the same case. This is to reduce the incentive of repeating the same case again and again for the sake of leveling up. Furthermore, students are already expected to score better after doing the case, as the answers are revealed at the end of each case.

Added security features

In December 2017, our MongoDB database was compromised and held hostage by ransomware. We were instructed to pay 0.1 bitcoin (USD $1594) for the return of our data. Fortunately, we had backed up the data so there was no need for us to pay the ransom. Since this incident, we have taken additional measures to ensure that this does not happen again.

We have implemented / will be implementing the following:

  • Firewall
  • SSH Tunnel
  • Automated backup
  • HTTPS protocol
  • Encrypt environment variables

Quality of product

Intermediate Deliverables:

Stage Specification
Project Management Schedule
Bug metrics
Task metrics
Risk management
Change management
Requirements Overview
Analysis Use case diagram
Architecture diagram
Technologies used
Design Prototypes
Testing User Acceptance Test 1 (11 - 13 Feb 2018)


  • Creation of test cases during development.
  • Functionality testing after completion of function.
  • Regression testing at the end of every iteration.
  • We expect to complete 2 UATs by the end of the project.
  • 1 UAT has been completed before Midterms. To view the results of this UAT, click here.


Team Reflection:

Our team has learnt the importance of working together closely with our clients, to ensure an ideal alignment between the client business requirements and our end-product. Throughout our development process, we are constantly plagued with minor hiccups and bugs. However, our team feels that our most valuable quality is resilience, as we tackle each and every problem with our ineffable tenacity and innovation.

Individual Reflections:


It has been a very experimental journey managing the team since the project started. New challenges are always popping up, and I have learnt to manage the workload of each member more carefully. I believe communication is today’s important skill, be it raising issues with the team or simple dissemination of information. That is why I ensure that there are no communication lapses in our team.

Chin Rui:

It has been a challenging 7 weeks since our acceptance. The application architecture has undergone multiple major changes, especially our security configrations, to ensure better quality and continuity for our clients. The security breach incident was an eye-opening experience for me, and I have learnt to never take security for granted. I have realised that security should be a key consideration when planning an application's architecture because every implementation or change made could introduce a new vulnerability for potential attackers to take advantage of. Aside from the security enhancements, I have also discovered the difficulties in planning a software architecture after taking into account of budget, skill and technical constrains.


Being the previous Business Analyst, it was an enriching and mind-boggling experience researching on various Natural Language Processing techniques and trying to appraise their adequacy and appropriateness for our application. Moving on as the Quality Assurance lead, I hope I do not offend everyone involved in development by scrutinizing every single corner case in the application.

Ming Rui:

The opportunity to be able to apply the entire design thinking process from the creation of prototypes to the actual web development have been arduous but rewarding journey. The final designs of the application are a product of multiple revamps, each better compared to the previous. I have learnt the importance of gathering feedback from the clients as well as real users.


Having to pick up Node.js and React.js in a short period of time really pushed me to learn and adapt at a much faster pace. There are many front-end and back-end considerations to factor in during the design process, such as the communication between parent-child components and the use of redux store versus a direct http request to the database. I believe that my technical skills have definitely improved over the past few weeks.


It has been a great experience seeing how the project has grown from infancy to where it is today. As a backend developer, I have realised that is important to have a seamless integration of the frontend components with the server side logic as well as designing and implementing data storage solutions. Throughout the past few months working on the project, I have learnt that what’s even more important than completing the work assigned to me is to help my team members with their tasks. This will enable smoother and faster progression as a team.