FICO Analytics Competition: Helping Santa Helpers

FICO is sponsoring a Kaggle competition to optimize Santa's scheduling algorithm. Competitors can win in multiple categories and the best solution using FICO Xpress Optimization Suite will receive a special prize.

By Joe Krakoviak, Dec 2014.

FICO Helping Santa's Helpers Kaggle competition

In the spirit of the season as well as business analytics and optimization, FICO is sponsoring a Kaggle competition – for prizes up to $20,000 – seeking an algorithm that will mathematically make Santa’s elves’ production schedule most efficient.

Santa’s grueling production schedule has a strict deadline for on-time Christmas delivery while complying with the strict rules of the Elfin Worker’s Union. Can Santa’s operation be optimized mathematically? Is it possible to create a job scheduling algorithm that not only meets Santa’s toy target, but keeps his elves healthy and happy? Can Santa’s workshop be brought out of the dark ages of magic and holiday spirit, and transformed into a highly optimized modern operation?

Competitors can win in three categories, and, of course, earn a spot on Santa’s nice list. Competition details are available on the Kaggle competition page. There is also $5,000 reserved for the best solution using FICO Xpress Optimization Suite. More than 100 teams have already signed up.