Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Competing in data mining competitions

I’m competing in several data mining competitions over at Kaggle. So far, I haven’t really done well, but I am learning a lot. Here’s what I’m getting out of it:

  • Variety in applying statistical techniques to real-world problems
  • Clarifying for myself what the bias-variance tradeoff really means
  • Trying new techniques, such as those I got out of the free online machine learning class
  • Humility

If you’re into statistics, you should try it! Kaggle isn’t the only competition forum in town, but it’s a good one. (Tunedit has one competition in classification of biomedical papers, and KDNuggets regularly announces contests from sites.