I am doing my masters in the UK and at final stage of my dissertation. First I will have to confess that I regret that I selected this dissertation as it is something which I failed to get a clear idea about. I don't know if it is because I cannot understand the ideas that my supervisor is trying to communicate with me.
First my target was to implement an algorithm (I was given only a specific field and asked me to select an algorithm) using a language that I had never used before. I used to meet regularly and given research papers to read to clarify any doubt I had. There was no support in the implementation other than the research papers. Also no one to guide on the computer language I needed to use for the implementation. By June, I was stuck a little bit in the implementation and when I expressed some doubts, I was told there is not enough time for implementation now as I am not able to understand it so take an existing software which implemented the said algorithm and create some performance improvements.
I spent a lot of time, more than a month for just setting up the work environment and understanding how that software works. I am not very confident to speak out so I thought I will eventually get a hang of it. After a thorough research I realised that the said software is widely used all over the world and has been optimised in all possible ways already. But it was already too late and at the end I am left with almost nothing but some failed trials. Now the deadline to submit my masters dissertation is in a week and when I spoke to my supervisor about the limitations of the software and why I cannot optimise it last week, I was given a new research paper to read and asked to try their approach.
I learned a lot in this research, many algorithms, some new software, computer languages etc, but it was not focussed. I don't know what I will write in my report as the project is supposed to be a study with evaluation and testing to show as a proof to my conclusions. I have already written a literature review of 35 pages and about 10 pages about the software I am trying to optimise. I cannot submit just that and I don't think it is a good idea to continue new trials now as I may not be able to complete writing my report (which needs to be around 60-65 pages) with just one week left. I have distinction from the marks for my course units and all of the effort I took for an year will go in vain if I fail the dissertation as it has 50% weighting. What can I do to make sure I will pass my dissertation? Please advise.
NB: I know it is a long question, sorry about that. I felt I need to write the context to explain my situation.
I continued and completed my thesis with all the failed trials. Added some sections in the thesis comparing the different approaches I tried, findings based the trials and some suggestions for future work. Even though I was paranoid till the results came out, I passed with distinction.