Monday, July 27, 2009

Er....Netflix Prize goes to...?

上個月這個時候,Netflix Prize 主辦單位宣佈餐賽團隊 BellKor's Pragmatic Chaos 提出的演算法比Cinematch 改進百分之十,是第一個跨過門檻的隊伍,其他參賽者有最後30天的時間爭取最後的奪冠機會(In accord with the Rules, teams have thirty (30) days, until July 26, 2009 18:42:37 UTC, to make submissions that will be considered for this Prize. )。

原本以為最終結果應該是 BPC 的囊中物,應該不會有什麼懸念,但就在時間截止之前,另外一個隊伍 Ensemble 宣稱他們也跨過門檻(Breaking - Netflix Prize, we’ve got a winner, and it’s Greek! (updated)),甚至一度自行宣佈他們勝過原本的領先者,是最終的贏家(下圖是目前Leaderboard公佈的成績)。不過,一位自稱 An Insider 的網友在這篇文章之後留言,解釋他們可能誤解了規則,BPC 在 Test Set 的成績較優,才是最終的贏家(自稱 Just a guy in garage 的 Gavin Potter 很快的在個人部落格撰文解釋為什麼 BPC 才是贏家)。

到目前為止, Netflix 仍然沒有正式宣佈誰是最後的贏家,只是宣佈停止收件,並且說有兩個隊伍通過門檻。
As of July 26, 2009 18:42:37 UTC, we have stopped gathering submissions for the Netflix Prize contest. There are submissions from two teams that meet the minimum requirements for the Grand Prize. We are contacting the lead team and we will report, as soon as possible, when and if we have a verified winner for the Grand Prize.


不管誰贏得這個比賽, Daniel Lemire 說的好,充份鼓勵各種創意和多元化的發展,才是學術發展的正確方向:

Both teams broke the 10% barrier by using a diverse coalition, by merging several different ideas. As Peter Turney recently stated:

There are no whole-truths, but we can get by reasonably well with a large number of half-truths.

I am now more convinced than ever that science needs diverse explanations, techniques and opinions. We should actively reward creativity. Science is not merely about truth-seeking.

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