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Programming Technology

Collaborative Filtering and the Rise of Ensembles 58

igrigorik writes "First the Netflix challenge was won with the help of ensemble techniques, and now the GitHub challenge is over, and more than half of the top entries are also based on ensembles. Good knowledge of statistics, psychology and algorithms is still crucial, but the ensemble technique alone has the potential to make the collaborative filtering space a lot more, well, collaborative! Here's a look at the basic theory behind ensembles, how they shaped the results of the GitHub challenge, and how this pattern can be used in the future."
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Collaborative Filtering and Rise of Ensembles

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 01, 2009 @03:11PM (#29277031)

    Thing about gov is everyone insists on having equal voting power... and the whole reason ensembles work is due to unequal weights---maybe those who vote "better" than others are given more voting weight?

  • by sakdoctor ( 1087155 ) on Tuesday September 01, 2009 @03:32PM (#29277251) Homepage

    "better" would require a fitness function; and everyone thinks that they vote "best".

    If it were possible to define such a perfect function, we wouldn't really need voting anyway. We could just get a computer to crunch all the parameters and spit out a utopia.

  • by mbkennel ( 97636 ) on Tuesday September 01, 2009 @04:23PM (#29277749)

    Algorithms produce better results working in committees, unlike you.

  • by DragonWriter ( 970822 ) on Tuesday September 01, 2009 @05:04PM (#29278211)

    So someone voting on a school board bond election who can correctly answer questions about the stated usage of that bond, or the school district's financial bond rating, or who attends a school board meeting discussing the bond, could get 2 votes for the price of one.

    This would a) allow "passionate" (albeit informed) voters to have more of a say than someone who is indifferent, and b) encourage people to do research and get involved in politics.

    Giving everyone one vote already does that, without the ability to game-in discriminatory effects through poll tests (the ability to game-in discriminatory effects comes when you give people the right to write the questions and determine what the "correct" answers are, which is essential to having such quizzes); the more passionate are more likely to participate in politics (whether by voting or otherwise), and the more informed are more likely to realize their goals through whatever action they take, so both passion and information are already rewarded.

    In a way, it's anti-democratic, but if you are going to insert any sort of elitism into the system, it might as well be a meritocracy.

    "Merit" is subjective; all elitisms view are justified (esp. by the chosen "elite") as some kind of meritocracy.

  • Re:Group Labor (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02, 2009 @01:12AM (#29281733)

    No, I think his pond is just too deep for you.

Think of it! With VLSI we can pack 100 ENIACs in 1 sq. cm.!