The contest, featuring one of the biggest datasets ever published, opened new frontiers in the areas of Data Mining & Machine Learning and could easily be characterized as’ The Olympiad of Data Mining’. Netflix, the biggest online video rental service in the US, literally crowdsourced the optimization of its recommendation system, giving away -next to the data- a prize of $1M. (You may read more in the NYT or Wired, or you’d better wait for more updated articles to come).
To put this success in context, let me also mention that over the 2 years that the contest was running, more than 40,000 teams from over 160 countries participated. The final winner in a very tight race with consecutive submissions till the very last moment is The Ensemble team, the full member’s list is available here.
Nicholas Ampazis presented a few months ago in Open Coffee Athens XXII his own start-up, Feeds 2.0, and gave a fascinating speech on the Netflix Prize a couple of months ago in the greek Foss Conference, but rest assured that we’ll have him again to speak on this tremendous success in a Open Coffee event in the very near future. :)
update 2: It seems that, Bellkor’s submission was better in the test set, at least this is what a member of the team states at the netflix forum. And we really have no reason to argue against that, it looks like a proper time to congratulate the team. The official announcement is still pending.