Joint UC3M-IMDEA Networks-Telefonica team wins I-COM 2016 Data Science Hackathon Award

02 June 2016

A team of four researchers from University Carlos III of Madrid (UC3M), IMDEA Networks and Telefonica participated in the Data Science Hackathon contest celebrated in conjunction with the I-COM Global Summit 2016 with noteworthy results. The team excelled at a challenge involving social media analysis, winning one of two finalist awards thanks to the innovative and business oriented results achieved.

During the I-COM Global Summit 2016 a wide range of contests and awards were included in the conference program. A team of researchers from UC3M,IMDEA Networks & Telefonica took part in the Data Science Hackathon contest and ended up winning the award on the scientist level. The team members were Luis F. Chiroque, PhD Student at IMDEA Networks and UC3M, Juan Miguel Carrascosa, PhD Student at UC3M, Costas Iordanou, PhD Student at Telefonica and UC3M and Dr. Rubén Cuevas, Assistant Professor at UC3M. Since all four team members are tied to UC3M, the team was eventually called ‘UC3M Team’.

I-COM is one of the most important conferences on a global level within the digital marketing business and some of the key international market players from this sector participate in and sponsor the conference. Amongst others, companies such as, Twitter, Adobe, Oracle Unilever, Procter & Gamble, Xaxis, and Annalect participated in this year’s edition.

The Data Science Contest was divided in two phases. The first one took place at Universidad Politécnica in Madrid (UPM) between Saturday 16 April and Sunday 17 April. In this phase, 14 participating teams divided in two groups (Scientist level and Master´s level, where the master level is the more expert one) had to work on solving a social media challenge. The challenge consisted of predicting trends in Twitter in the first quarter of 2016 using a dataset including 3 million tweets from 2015. The teams then had 24 hours to review the tweets and come up with the best possible prediction for 2016 trends. Additionally, the teams should also try to link their answer to a practical business product or service.

The UC3M/IMDEA Networks team belonged to the first of the two groups (scientist level). The team was ranked second in the overall ranking of this first phase, and became the winner of the scientist’s group. This was quite an achievement taking into consideration that the team was better classified than most of the competing teams within its group, even if those other teams were made up of very experienced data scientists from top companies in the digital marketing business.

The jury of the Data Science Hackathon selected two finalists from each of the two groups and the four teams then went to Seville, where the second phase of the Hackathon took place in conjunction with the I-COM Global Summit (18-21 April 2016). In this second phase the finalist teams had to present their work in front of an audience of 200-300 people, and special emphasis was given to the aspect of business contribution. The presentation of the results took place in a session on the morning of Tuesday the 19th of April.  A first award was given called the I-COM Audience Award. Members of the audience attending the session could vote through Twitter for the team they considered having presented the best work. The UC3M Team came out first with 38% of the votes.

At the Awards Gala Dinner later that day, the UC3M Team received the I-COM Data Science Hackathon Award for the scientist’s group. The award to the master’s group was given to a team called ‘Integral Ad Science’ from the USA.

Source(s): IMDEA Networks Institute; UC3M
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