It's official! The team Bellkor Pragmatic Chaos is the winner of the $1million Netlix prize. The competition to create the best predictive model for Netflix movie ratings ended in a nailbiting finish, and for a while there it seemed Bellkor had been pipped at the post by rival team The Ensemble, who submitted an apparently superior model just 10 minutes after theirs (and just before the close of the competition). As it turns out though, when evaluated on the unseen validation data both models had the exact same performance, making Bellkor the winner by dint of the earlier submission. Full details at Wired in the link below.
The competition was such a success that Neflix is running a sequel next year. Should be a good competition!