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A (master) thesis about the development and assessment of an algorithm has some limitations. The method chapter is organized as follows:

  • Algorithm Description

  • Simulated Scenarios

  • Evaluation method

The algorithm itself is not optimal and potential flaws exist in some modules. The simulated scenarios were selected in order to create a representative assessment, but are not covering the entire range of possible conditions. The evaluation method is based on a number of simplifications which might lead to faulty final results.

To make sure it doesn't seem like I'm hiding something, I would like to describe all of these limitations. Where would this fit best? In the individual sections of the Method chapter? Could I title the chapter after methods "Results and Discussion" and mention it there? Or in the conclusion?

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Since the limitations you describe are related to the coverage of the scenarios, I would describe them in the "simulated scenarios" section. If you really have a lot of content about these limitations, then it deserves its own section in the method chapter.

Then in the discussion part you can mention them again if relevant, e.g. "it's possible that results would differ if..." with a ref to the method chapter.

Traditionally the conclusion is a summary of your findings and a description of further work. If relevant you could mention "cover more scenarios" in the latter, but that's not where the explanations about the limitations should be.

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"Could I title the chapter after methods "Results and Discussion" and mention it there?"

  1. Yes, I would discuss the limitations within Results and Discussion. It only makes sense in that context. You might restate this in Conclusions as well.

  2. I think you need to have a Results and Discussion section regardless. This is a normal section of a technical report. Even if there were no limitations. Usually Methods discusses what your experimental plan was. Results and Discussion (sometimes separate, sometimes together, I prefer together) describes the outcome of the experiments and the implications of the data. It sounds a bit like you were going to be having results within Methods and no Results/Discussion sections (strange).

Some basic advice: Clarity in Technical Reporting (See pages 8-13.)

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