Monday, March 7, 2016

BigDEAL Forecasting Competition - Spring 2016

[Update]: Announcing BFCom2016s winnerslink to competition results.

I organized two in-class competitions last semester for my Energy Analytics course, one on short term load forecasting, and the other on probabilistic load forecasting. The competitions were very well received by my students and the external participants. The probabilistic forecasting competition generated a nice article for the International Journal of Forecasting.

I'm teaching another forecasting class, Technological Forecasting and Decision Making, this semester at UNC Charlotte. The course is at the same level as the Energy Analytics one. While the Energy Analytics course covers on various forecasting problems in the energy industry, this technological forecasting course covers various forecasting techniques without a specific focus on any industry. The course outline is available HERE.

I would like to open one of the exams to the external participants. I also plan to do so for my other forecasting-related courses going forward. Since I will leverage the help from BigDEAL members to run the show, I'm branding these activities as the BigDEAL Forecasting Competitions.

Here are the rules for this one:
  • The competition will start on 3/24/2016, and end on 4/6/2016.
  • The exam is individual effort. Each student will form a single-person team. No offline collaboration is allowed.
  • External participants may form multi-person teams with the team members identified during the registration process.
  • The competition topic will be on point forecasting. (At this stage, I haven't decided the exact problem to release yet.)
  • Incremental data will be released during the competition.
  • A report documenting how the models have been evolving is required to be eligible on the final leaderboard.
Interested? Register HERE by 3/22/2016. (If you don't have access to Google Form, you can email me directly to register.) 


  1. Important Dates:

    1st data release: 3/24/2016
    1st forecast due: 3/28/2016 11:55pm EDT

    2nd data release: 3/29/2016
    2nd forecast due: 3/31/2016 11:55pm EDT

    3rd data release: 4/1/2016
    3rd forecast due: 4/4/2016 11:55pm EDT

    4th data release: 4/5/2016
    4th forecast due: 4/6/2016 11:55pm EDT

    The data is from a US utility. Actual load and weather history and the weather forecast through the forecast horizon is given.

    The following competition rules apply:

    1. The participants are not allowed to use additional weather or load information outside the data provided through the competition.
    2. The participants are allowed to US Federal holiday on this website:
    3. The MAPE of hourly load for each round will be used as the rating for the team.
    4. The final score is the simple average of the rankings for all rounds. The top 5 teams with lowest average rankings will be posted as the winners.

    1. Holidays for 2010 can be found here:


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