Agnostic learning vs. prior knowledge challenge



"When everything fails, ask for additional domain knowledge" is the current motto of machine learning. Therefore, assessing the real added value of prior/domain knowledge is a both deep and practical question. Most commercial data mining programs accept data pre-formatted as a table, each example being encoded as a fixed set of features. Is it worth spending time engineering elaborate features incorporating domain knowledge and/or designing ad hoc algorithms? Or else, can off-the-shelf programs working on simple features encoding the raw data without much domain knowledge do as well or better than skilled data analysts? To answer these questions, we organized a challenge for IJCNN 2007. The participants were allowed to compete in two tracks: The "prior knowledge" (PK) track, for which they had access to the original raw data representation and as much knowledge as possible about the data, and …


Isabelle Guyon
Isabelle Guyon
Gavin C Cawley
Amir Saffari