Netflix Prize Update

A few months ago Netflix offered a million dollar prize to anyone who could improve their prediction algorithm 10%.

Judging from the progress made so far (a 5% improvement and 743 different teams submitting bids so far), this is likely to be one of the best $1 million Netflix ever spent.

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  1. zbicyclist says:

    $1,000,000 price
    743 teams
    Expected value: $1346 per team assuming a winner.

    Bragging right, though, are worth a lot.

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  2. zbicyclist says:

    $1,000,000 price
    743 teams
    Expected value: $1346 per team assuming a winner.

    Bragging right, though, are worth a lot.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  3. Serene says:

    It’s a good idea.

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  4. Serene says:

    It’s a good idea.

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  5. It’s an even better deal than you think. Netflix is offering a $10,000 progress prize for the best improvement after one year. Progress was quick initially, but the top teams have stalled at about a 5% improvement. See http://www.dicarlolaw.com/hist_20061105.png for a graph someone made charting the progress.

    My guess is that the current crop of leaders are all using the same basic machine learning algorithm. They have optimized it, and there is not much room for improvement left. This approach won’t get to a 10% improvement.

    This suggests the interesting question: what is the ultimate limit in predicting human behavior. Clearly humans are fickle, and at some level random. If you rated Mission Impossible 3 as a “4″ today, what would you rate it next month?

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  6. It’s an even better deal than you think. Netflix is offering a $10,000 progress prize for the best improvement after one year. Progress was quick initially, but the top teams have stalled at about a 5% improvement. See http://www.dicarlolaw.com/hist_20061105.png for a graph someone made charting the progress.

    My guess is that the current crop of leaders are all using the same basic machine learning algorithm. They have optimized it, and there is not much room for improvement left. This approach won’t get to a 10% improvement.

    This suggests the interesting question: what is the ultimate limit in predicting human behavior. Clearly humans are fickle, and at some level random. If you rated Mission Impossible 3 as a “4″ today, what would you rate it next month?

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  7. HerrKevin says:

    Freakophysics: The progress prize is actually $50,000.

    This competition isn’t just great for Netflix. For many computer science students out there like myself who are interested in applications of AI, such as machine learning and data mining, this offers an interesting challenge (and of course a chance at money). Netflix offered lots of great data that students like myself are playing with. I doubt I’ll win, but by the end of this competition I’ll have learned quite a bit about data mining.

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  8. HerrKevin says:

    Freakophysics: The progress prize is actually $50,000.

    This competition isn’t just great for Netflix. For many computer science students out there like myself who are interested in applications of AI, such as machine learning and data mining, this offers an interesting challenge (and of course a chance at money). Netflix offered lots of great data that students like myself are playing with. I doubt I’ll win, but by the end of this competition I’ll have learned quite a bit about data mining.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0