Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Netflix Prize and the Sequel

Nearly three years ago I posted on the just announced Netflix prize. First to a 10% increase in the quality of the movie recommendations would receive a million dollars, coincidently the same amount one would get for settling P v. NP. Three years later in an exciting finish, Belkor's Pragmatic Chaos gives their best solution 20 minutes before an equally good solution from The Ensemble. Details from the New York Times and Netflix Blog.

Computer science got a nice boost of publicity when the contest started and a little bit less with the end, I think because of the big lag before the contest ended on July 26th and the final results announced yesterday. Still good to get some positive CS press after trading algorithms (and by consequence computer science) get some of the blame for the financial crisis.

Netflix got both publicity and nicer algorithms from the contest. So they will do it again this time with demographic and historical data. 

Meanwhile P v. NP remains open.


  1. Would solving P=?NP answer the Netflix challenge?

  2. so did it turn so fashionable to talk about pvsnp in the last couple of weeeks ? is there something more to it ....

    actually, the NSA already has a proof but it's hard to get your eyes on since they keep everything confidential. and now that i am talking about it i am sure they will find out and come and get me.