Neat data mining competition; strange rule?

I received notice of an upcoming data mining competition by the Direct Marketing Association. The goal is to predict sales volume of magazines at 10,000 newsstands, using real data provided by CMP and Experian. The goal is officially stated as: The winner will be the contestant who is able to best predict final store sales given the number of copies placed (draw) in each store. (Best will be defined as the root mean square error between the predicted and final sales.) Among the usual competition rules about obtaining the data, evaluation criteria, etc. I found an odd rule stating: P.S. PARTICIPANTS MAY … Continue reading Neat data mining competition; strange rule?

Forecasting stock prices? The new INFORMS competition

Image from The 2010 INFORMS Data Mining Contest is underway. This time the goal is to predict 5-minute stock prices. That’s right – forecasting stock prices! In my view, the meta-contest is going to be the most interesting part. By meta-contest I mean looking beyond the winning result (what method, what prediction accuracy)  and examining the distribution of prediction accuracies across all the contestants, how the winner is chosen, and most importantly, how the winning result will be interpreted in terms of concluding about the predictability level of stocks. Why is a stock prediction competition interesting? Because according to … Continue reading Forecasting stock prices? The new INFORMS competition