Open Thoughts

Mendeley/PLoS API Binary Battle

Posted by Cheng Soon Ong on August 29, 2011

It seems that there are many challenges being organised recently, but a recent announcement of Mendeley and PLoS caught my interest because they have different motivations. They have teamed up to create the Mendeley/PLoS API Binary Battle

First, both of them are dealing with scientific publications, things which we (academics) all care about. So, any winner of a challenge which improves how we deal with the bread and butter of academic life is of interest. Many of us already use Mendeley to manage our reading, and may also have published in PLoS, and so unlike previous competitions, the actual application may impact machine learners as a whole.

Second, the challenge is not about predicting better, but to design the most creative use of the API from either PLoS or Mendeley. This is an opportunity for fledging machine learners to define interesting learning tasks. To stimulate your creativity, here are some ideas that have been already suggested.

In my experience with the practical side of machine learning, the problem with solving real applications is not the lack of access to the data, but more that the data is in the wrong format, and is only available on CDs or something like that. So, a data API goes a long way towards defining how to interact with the objects, and how to define meaningful machine learning tasks. I think data APIs are something worth supporting.

As usual, there is prize money.


Cheng Soon Ong (on March 5, 2012, 05:06:57)

Thanks to Olga Bartko, who has translated this post to Polish!

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