Netflix Prize Contestants Stuck at 7.8%

by

The Netflix prize turned 300 last week and it seems that progress is
slowing to a crawl. To win the prize, participants have to beat
the predictive accuracy of Netflix’s own Cinematch algorithm by 10%.
Tom Slee reports:

The Cinematch score was matched within a week. Within a month the leaders were half way to the winning prize with a 5% improvement. But getting further improvement progress has proved more and more difficult. It took another month to get to a 6% improvement, about 5 more months to get to 7%, and the current (July 29 2007) leader is at 7.8% improvement and has been unchanged for a month

Tom goes on to expose some curious outliers in the data and expresses
skepticism that recommendation systems can unmask the wisdom of
crowds.

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