Netflix Prize Nearly Finished?

A combined team of the leaders of the Netflix prize (teams BellKor, Pragmatic Theory & BigChaos – together know as BellKor’s Pragmatic Chaos) has recently submitted an entry to the Netflix prize which surpasses Cinematch by 10.05%.

According to the competition rules, an announcement should follow soon saying that 30 days remain for competing teams to submit their final entries. A quick look at the leaderboard, however, shows that 5 of the top 10 leaders are members of one (or combined) of the groups who look like they are soon to win $1,000,000.

Interestingly, this submission appears just as researchers were discussing whether a 10% improvement was at all possible, while others rallied together to try and surpass the magic barrier. Also, funnily enough, I tweeted about the potential for this to happen a while back – and nearly got the team names right.

I hope that the competition ends soon; and I also wonder:

  • Will the winning algorithm ever be used by Netflix?
  • Now that the accuracy goal has been reached, what will researchers care about? (how many of them will stop caring?)

Recommender system research has definitely benefited from the competition (thanks to Netflix). But we all know that there is more to a recommendation that an intelligent, accurate forecast of what star rating I’m going to give something. Many things come to mind – but for now, congratulations to team BellKor’s Pragmatic Chaos.

Update: The notification email has been sent out; participating teams have until July 26, 2009 18:42:37 UTC to send in their submissions!

One Response to “Netflix Prize Nearly Finished?”

  1. [...] my last blog post, I was contacted by a journalist who wanted to discuss the effects of the Netflix prize. It seems [...]