Re: "The Netflix challenge and the advance of Science"

From: Joel Pitt (
Date: Mon Nov 13 2006 - 14:43:18 MST

On 11/14/06, Eliezer S. Yudkowsky <> wrote:
> This is a forum devoted to the Netflix Prize, $1 million for producing a
> collaborative filtering algorithm 10% better than Netflix's. The
> current leading contenders are edging up on 5% better than Netflix's
> algorithm, corresponding to a root mean squared error of .90. (I
> haven't taken a potshot at this problem yet, but it's quite interesting
> to see how things go. Right now, the current leading algorithm, beating
> out many serious contenders, is apparently one that was rejected from
> the NIPS conference as uninteresting. Hence the name, "NIPS Reject".)

I started drawing up a very quick attempt at this netflix challenge
using Self-Organizing Maps and treating the data in a similar way that
my university research group predicts assemblages of species in
countries around the world. I suspect it will do alright but not be
the best - I don't have the time to seriously attempt the competition.

If anyone else in sl4 is playing around with the challenge and wish to
talk about the data/ideas/etc then feel free to send me an email.

"Wish not to seem, but to be, the best."
                -- Aeschylus

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