Daniel Lemire's blog

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Netflix game gets exciting: BellKor´s Pragmatic Chaos is passed by The Ensemble

This is fun. A month ago, I asked whether the Netflix competition was over. After BellKor’s Pragmatic Chaos merged the solutions of many players to break the 10% barrier, I expected them to win. It turns out that another coalition was created—The Ensemble—and they have beaten the previous best score by 0.01%. There are only a short few hours before the final deadline, so it is still impossible to know who will win. However, if The Ensemble wins, it will be very frustrating to BellKor’s Pragmatic Chaos: The Ensemble is a last minute player.

Both teams broke the 10% barrier by using a diverse coalition, by merging several different ideas. As Peter Turney recently stated:

There are no whole-truths, but we can get by reasonably well with a large number of half-truths.

I am now more convinced than ever that science needs diverse explanations, techniques and opinions. We should actively reward creativity. Science is not merely about truth-seeking.