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From: Gregory Piatetsky-Shapiro
Date: July 28, 2009
Subject: Netflix Prize contest dramatic finish - and winner is ...

The team BellKorís Pragmatic Chaos, an international coalition of 4 teams, c finally, after almost 3 years of competition, managed to break the 10% barrier with a score of 10.08% on June 26.

This kicked off 30 day last call period for the Grand Prize, giving other teams the chance to make their final submissions and potentially take the prize.

With about a day left, a new entry The Ensemble, made of numerous other teams which followed BellKorís Pragmatic Chaos on the leaderboard, managed to leapfrog them the leaderboard with 10.09% entry - the smallest possible advantage!

Then, with less than half an hour left in the contest, BellKorís Pragmatic Chaos submitted an entry that tied The Ensemble, with a score of 10.09%. Twenty minutes later, and only four minutes before the competition ended, The Ensemble struck back with a buzzer-beating 10.10% submission.

Netflix Final LeaderBoard

Netflix final leaderboard shows hectic submissions by the top teams on the last day of July 26.

Netflix announced that the contest is officially closed

However, who won is not yet clear, since according to Netflix official rules the contest is based on two sets.

The first is called the Quiz set, which is used to publicly display how a team is faring to the public and to determine when the contest would kick into its 30 day last call mode. But the set that really matters, the Test set, is still a secret, and nobody knows if The Ensemble or team BellKor performs better. Netflix will make the final contest announcement in the next few weeks.

Yehuda Koren of BellKorís Pragmatic Chaos has posted on the contestís forums that BellKor came out with the lowest Test score, though Netflix has not made the official announcement.

The official winner should be announced in a few weeks.

According to a post on the Official Netflix Blog, over the past three years there have been 44,014 entries from 5,169 teams in 186 countries vying for the top prize.

See also

New York Times Online, Netflix Competitors Learn the Power of Teamwork

A contest set up by Netflix, which offered a $1 million prize to anyone who could significantly improve its movie recommendation system, ended on Sunday with two teams in a virtual dead heat, and no winner to be declared until September.

Why the Netflix Prize is a Kind of a Big Deal, by Chris Albrecht

Techcrunch

Mashable

Mediaunbound blog


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