For an upcoming project I have to get into a new topic of research which is not similar to anything I have worked so far. Furthermore, this project requires learning new programming language(s) and simulation environments. And in the end a software implementation and a final report has to be written
About the topic
The whole topic is about wireless mobile communication, the basics of communication technologies which are used in this topic are the same with the usual mobile wireless technologies I've learned before. However, the dynamics of the mobility are fairly different. The clustering algorithms used are not typical.
The essential question
How do I tackle such a situation, where multiple new things have to be learned before the final results are delivered. I separate the things I have to learn into
- Prerequisites: programming languages, simulation environment, relation between them and the topic basics
- Main work: learning the essential elements of the topic and becoming fluent in them
In the past I have usually worked on research topics which I have fulfilled the prerequisites for. So, I would tackle the topic following these steps:
- Read broader literature: Surveys
- Read literature about the specific problem
- Implement if there is something to be done
- Write final report
In this case I am a bit lost. I don't know where should I start from. That's why I need help from more experienced researchers. Compared to the list I provided above, step 3 is quite more complicated in this case, as I am not familiar with the programming language.
What I plan to do
I want to follow the following steps in order to get into this topic
- Fulfill the prerequisites: get familiar with the required programming languages and simulation environments. Coupling between them etc. Do some exercises until I feel confident.
- Start reading broad literature: Surveys
- Focus on the specific problem: Read specific literature
- Start implementation
- Write the final report
I am not quite sure if these steps are OK. Sometimes I get confused and I want to move
4 -> 2,
2 -> 3,
3 -> 4 and maybe parallelize something there with step
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I feel so overwhelmed by this topic and need urgent help :(.