Dramatic finish to three-year-long Netflix contest

The Netfix Prize has almost come to a close, with the winning team set to receive a $1 million reward. The aim of the contest was to improve the algorithm used by Netflix to recommend films to its customers by at least 10%. The popularity of the site and size of the reward attracted an array of talented computer science teams to the contest.

The 10% barrier was finally broken by BellKor’s Pragmatic Chaos late in July. The rules of the competition stated that this marked the start of a 30 day period where teams could make final submissions to the contest. BellKor’s Pragmatic Chaos and another team, named The Ensemble continued to better each other’s scores throughout this period, with The Ensemble looking almost certain to have prevailed. The final result will be confirmed by Netflix within the next few weeks.

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