FICO, one of the major commercial DM vendors, runs predictive modeling competitions and even offers rewards to the winners. For the upcoming holidays FICO offered a challenge called “Jingle bells, Santa tells…”. It is a nicely formulated job scheduling problem:
Every year Santa has to satisfy a grueling toy-production schedule. Toy orders arrive all year long and the Elfin Workers Union is stronger than ever. Let’s help Santa develop a job scheduling algorithm that meets his toy target while keeping his elves healthy and happy. You will assign which elves work on which toys, at what time, and for how long. The goal is to complete all of the toys as early as possible, and hopefully by noon on December 24, 2014 North Pole Time so that Santa can deliver them on time.
We hope our readers will be able to ponder this challenge (along with our own challenges) and will be among winners of the $20K award. We will update you about the results.