Friday, March 13, 2009

Friday The 13th

[LP]Hey, I saw you finally made it to number one in that netflix contest. Did you implement that idea I gave you... you know, the one where you boost the ratings of horror films on Friday the 13th?
[PT] (sigh)

No we didn't use movie metadata in our final push to number one. Instead, we relied on our original methodology... As the full moon sailed high, at midnight on Friday the 13th, we slaughtered a goat and offered its liver up to the gods...

Seriously, we're very happy about our recent progress and achieving this milestone in a little over a year. Thanks to everyone who has supported our team in various ways. Since we don't know how long we'll be on top, we captured this moment for posterity:

Now I'll go back to my BBQ. That goat will make a great roast.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

All the way around the sun...

Thirty-one million five-hundred-thirty-six thousand seconds ago, we were two guys with an itch and a bit of spare time.
Five-hundred-twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes ago, we read an article about an intersting contest.
Eight thousand seven hundred sixty hours ago, we got a couple of ideas.
Three-hundred and sixty-five days ago, we knew nothing about collaborative filtering or matrix factorization.
Fifty-two weeks ago, we wondered how far engineering could take us in this world full of scholars, PhDs and other geniuses.
Twelve months ago, we decided to give it a shot.

Today marks the one year anniversary of team Pragmatic Theory.

Let's take to look back at some of the intersting milestones we achieved this year:
- March 9th 2008 : First submission ever. Not very impressive: 0.9862
- May 10th 2008: Cracking the top 40. A little over 2 months in: 0.8822
- June 1st 2008: Cracking the top 10. The hill is getting steeper: 0.8731
- June 18th 2008: Above the Progress Prize 2007 line. Sixth place: 0.8707
- June 20th 2008: Cracking the top 5. June was a good month: 0.8699
- September 8th 2008: Second Place. Not for very long: 0.8655
- November 21st 2008: New-York Times article revealing that we are, indeed, geeks.
- December 26th 2008: Back in second place and top individual team. Merry Christmas: 0.8620
- January 11th 2009: Breaking the Progress Prize 2008. Things are getting interesting: 0.8614
- February 27th 2009: When you type "pragmatic the" in Google, it actually suggests "pragmatic theory netflix".

To mark this wonderful anniversary, we decided to reveal some of our secrets. Follow this link to find out more.