Two competitions will take place during this year’s conference. A traditional shootout: as usual, a dataset will be available for download and completion at home or office (predictions for the independent validation set are expected to be sent to the shootout committee prior to the beginning of the conference); and an on-site competition will also take place during the conference.
Participants of the on-site shootout will gather in the auditorium on Tuesday afternoon at 1:30pm. During 1h, on-site shootout participants will compete to generate the best model for a parameters provided at the time of the competition. On-site shootout participants will not be asked to present their methodology, just provide their best work.
The data will be provided in a csv format. More data formats can be available upon request, at least 1 week before the shootout. All requests are to be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. The data will be stored on USB drives and available on the website and distributed 5 min before the beginning of the competition. Information about the nature of the data will be provided at the start.
Because this format is intended to promote the competition amongst young scientists, the reward structure will be as follows:
Students (graduate and undergraduate):
1st place: $200
2nd place: $100
3rd place: $50
Post-doctoral students and professionals:
Winner takes all: $200
For this year’s conference, we will have the usual traditional shootout. Presentations will be held on Tuesday evening and the top 3 participants will be given awards at the closing banquet.
The topic of this year's competition focuses on water and is themed as The Application of Aquaphotomics in Data Evaluation. In Aquaphotomics, water is analyzed under various perturbations, using a set of narrow wavelength regions ("water bands" or WAter MAtrix CoordinateS - WAMACS) that have been assigned with the help of chemometric tools.
Different areas of science (including NIRS) have shown that water's OH bond sensitively responds to the presence of dissolved molecules but also very strongly to other water molecules and environmental conditions, which is why bands appearing in spectra of aqueous solutions have been generally considered as disturbing factors when targeting components other than water. Participants of this year's shootout will experience utilizing the wavelength region in which water is the primary absorber (1300-1600 nm/ 7690-6250 cm-1). Through distinguishing and quantifying the presence of some standard solutes (both absorbing and non-absorbing), they will learn (by doing) to approach spectroscopy and chemometrics in a way that complements the standard approach.
As always, the competition aims to determine the person who developed the most accurate model for a particular problem. Traditional classification and regression tasks have been formulated, along with a bonus "game task" aimed at developing the complementary perspective. Thinking in terms of specific water spectral patterns will play an interesting role in extracting the best result.