Friday, February 1, 2013

Spotlight: Kaggle's RTA Challenge

I had an interesting talk with José P. González-Brenes, A 6th year grad student from CMU LTI dept.
During the talk, I learned that Jose participated in the Kaggle's RTA challenge and actually won the 1st place out of more than 300 groups.

The challenge was for predicting RTA highway travel times. The data was recorded time of different segments different cars traveled. The winning solution (of Jose and Guido Matías Cortés) was composed of a very simple method - a random forest. Unfortunately, there was no paper published about it, but here is a blog post summarizing the solution method. And here is a link to their presentation. What is further interesting about the solution method is that it was composed of 90 lines of matlab code!

The reason we actually talked is that Jose was recently trying out my GraphChi collaborative filtering code for his research, so I gave him some advice on which methods to use. Once he has some interesting results I hope he will update us!

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