This August, the NTU research team (Kuan-Wei Wu, Ya-Hsuan Chang, Chen-Hung Wu, Chung-Yi Li, Chia-Mau Ni, Wei-Lun Su, Wei-Shih Lin, Yu-Cheng Chou, Yao-Nan Chen, Po-Lung Chen, Chun-Sung Ferng, Ku-Chun Chou, Chien-Chih Wang, Todd G. McKenzie, Chen-Tse Tsai, Tsung-Ting Kuo, Cheng-Hao Tsai, Chun-Liang Li, Chieh-Yen Lin, Po-Wei Wang, Rong-Bing Chiu, Shu-Hao Yu) led by professors Chih-Jen Lin, Shou-De Lin and Hsuan-Tien Lin in Dept. of Computer Science and Engineering attended ACM KDD Cup, the top knowledge discovery and data mining world competition. They did the presentation and the poster demonstration at the conference of ACM SIGKDD, which awarded them the champion along with USD 10,000 prize, outstanding from thousands of scholars in this field. This is the forth time that NTU research teams won such an award four years in a row, setting a world record in KDD Cup. To be noted, NTU research teams were also awarded the championship back in the years of 2008 and 2010.
ACM KDD Cup, the most significant competition in the KDD field, has been held ever since 1997, hosting by the special Internet Group on KDD (Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining) authorized by ACM (Association for Competing Machinery) along with the annual ACM Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining. Over the years, the topics have been always on hot current issues within academic challenges and countless business values in practice that draw the attention from universities and corporations around the world. To be specific, Stanford and IBM Research also joined the fierce competition. The competitors with their research teams are required to have the data mining system fully developed along with its mature techniques in only four months. Moreover, they have to precisely predict the related database provided by the hosting association.
The NTU research team led by the Department of Computer Science and Engineering has been to this competition since 2008 and has been ranked as the first place for four years. Back in the year of 2008, the research team, led by Professor Lin successfully designed the diagnosis system of breast cancer, won the annual championship same as IBM Research’s award that year. In 2009, the three professors mentioned above with their research team successfully analyzed the selling numbers in cell phone marketing and precisely predicted the patterns of consumer behaviors and thus won the third place doing the long-term analysis. Once again in 2010, the three with the research team worked on the topic of Feature Engineering and Classifier Ensemble. Eventually, they predicted students’ academic performance precisely with the database provided by the hosting association; thus, they were awarded two champions in both general and student groups.
The 2011 topic of KDD Cup is Music recommendation System, and the number of the research teams competing for the award is the most in the history. Recommendation System has always been the top research topic because of its countless business values. Netflix, has already held a similar competition of movie recommendation system in 2006. The champion that year won quite a prize of USD 1000,000. Yahoo! Music provided the database for the annual competition this year, and the topic is divided into two independent subjects: predicting users’ evaluation and distinguishing their favorites automatically. All of the teams were required to make a use of millions and billions of records based on history and sum up with the appropriate module to predict the objective.
Based on the successful experiences and with the support from their school department, the three professors, Chih-Jen Lin, Shou-De Lin and Hsuan-Tien Lin are starting to lecture the course, Theories and Practices of Machine Learning, at NTU to provide the knowledgeable training for students to be qualified enough for the KDD Cup competition. The students integrated each module approaching the end of the competition leading to an expected perfection of their achievement. The NTU team members won the championship with their extraordinary teamwork and thus defeated others, including the Netflix winner! The hosting association mentioned NTU’s excellent performance with a great compliment, saying that how extraordinary it is to defeat such a competitor, the Netflix winner, within only three and half months. As well, NTU set the unbreakable world record that they’ve just won the KDD Cup championship for the forth time four years in a row.