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General description: tasks and dataset

VideoLectures.net is a free and open access multimedia repository of video lectures, mainly of research and educational character. The lectures are given by distinguished scholars and scientists at the most important and prominent events like conferences, summer schools, workshops and science promotional events from many fields of Science. The portal is aimed at promoting science, exchanging ideas and fostering knowledge sharing by providing high quality didactic contents not only to the scientific community but also to the general public. All lectures, accompanying documents, information and links are systematically selected and classified through the editorial process taking into account also users' comments.

The ECML-PKDD 2011 Discovery Challenge is organized in order to improve the website’s current recommender system. The challenge consists of two main tasks and a “side-by” contest. The provided data is for both of the tasks, and it is up to the contestants how it will be used for learning (building up) a recommender.

Due to the nature of the problem, each of the tasks has its own merit: task 1 simulates new-user and new- item recommendation (cold-start mode), task 2 simulates clickstream based recommendation (normal mode).

Data from VL.Net site does not include any explicit nor implicit user profiles. Due to the privacy- preserving constraints implicit profiles embodied in viewing sequences (clickstreams) have been transformed, so that no individual viewing sequence information can be revealed or reconstructed. There are however other viewing related data included: i) co-viewing frequencies ii) pooled viewing sequences, and iii) content related information available: lecture category taxonomy, names, descriptions and slide titles (where available), authors, institutions, lecture events and timestamps.

More details about the tasks and the dataset are available from http://tunedit.org/challenge/VLNetChallenge


The prizes of this year's Discovery Challenge are sponsored by the EU FP7 Project e-LICO (http://www.e-lico.eu/). The prizes for each of the tasks are:
  • 1st place: 1500€
  • 2nd place: 700€
  • 3rd place: 300€

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