Friday, October 14, 2016

GEFCom2017: Hierarchical Probabilistic Load Forecasting

IEEE Working Group on Energy Forecasting invites you to join the Global Energy Forecasting Competition 2017 (GEFCom2017): Hierarchical Probabilistic Load Forecasting.


Emerging technologies, such as microgrids, electric vehicles, rooftop solar panels and intelligent batteries, are challenging the traditional operational practices of the power industry. While uncertainties on the demand side are pushing the operational excellence toward the edge of the grid, probabilistic load forecasting at various levels of the power system hierarchy is becoming increasingly important.

GEFCom2017 will bring together state-of-the-art techniques and methodologies for hierarchical probabilistic energy forecasting. The competition features a bi-level setup: a three-month qualifying match that includes two tracks, and a one-month final match on a large-scale problem.

Qualifying match

The qualifying match means to attract and educate a large number of contestants with diverse background, and to prepare them for the final match. The qualifying match includes two tracks, both on forecasting the zonal and total loads of ISO New England (the "DEMAND" column) for the next month in real-time on rolling basis.

The defined-data track (GEFCom2017-D) restricts the data used by the contestants. The data cannot go beyond the calendar data, load (the "DEMAND" column) and temperature data (the "DryBulb" and "DewPnt" columns) provided by ISO New England via the zonal information page of the energy, load and demand reports,  plus the US Federal Holidays as published via US Office of Personnel Management. The contestants may infer day of week and Federal Holidays based on the aforementioned data.

The open-data track (GEFCom2017-O)encourages the contestants to explore various public and private data sources and bring the necessary data into the load forecasting process. The data may include, but is not limited to the data published by ISO New England, the weather forecast data from any weather service providers, the local economy information, the penetration of solar PV published by US government websites.

Final match

The final match (GEFCom2017-F) will be open to the top entries from the qualifying match, tackling a more challenging, larger scale problem than the qualifying match problems. The final match includes one-track only, forecasting the load of a few hundred delivery points of a U.S. utility. The data is from the real world, so the contestants should expect many data issues, such as load transfers and anomalies. Details of the final match will be released on March 15, 2017.

Submission method

To save competition platform costs and implement more sophisticated evaluation methods, the submission will be via email. Within two weeks of the registration, the contestants will receive an email with the instructions about how to submit the forecasts.


The "DEMAND" column published by ISO New England will be used to evaluate the skills of the probabilistic forecasts. Note that the "DEMAND" data may be revised during the settlement process. The version at the time of evaluation will be used to score the forecasts.

The evaluation metric is quantile score. For each forecasted period, the quantile score of a submitted forecast will be compared with the quantile score of the benchmark. The relative improvement over the benchmark will be used to rate and rank the teams.

World Energy Forecaster Rankings (WEFR)

Many contestants who joined GEFCom2012 also participated in GEFCom2014. To encourage the continuous investments in energy forecasting and recognize those who excel in these competitions, we will start building the World Energy Forecaster Rankings.

The contestants of GEFCom2017 will be eligible to participate in WEFR. We hope the rankings can help reward the participants with career opportunities and tickets to future competitions. In addition, editors of relevant journals can also leverage WEFR to enhance the peer review process.


IEEE Power and Energy Society budgeted 20,000 for this competition. The prize pool is $18,000, to be shared among the winning teams and institutions from qualifying match and final match.


Winning teams will be invited to submit papers to a special issue of the International Journal of Forecasting. 


The maximum team size is three. The team leader should register on behalf of the team. The registration period is from Oct 14, 2016 to Jan 14, 2017. Please register via THIS LINK if you want to join the competition.

Competition timeline
  • Competition Problems Release  --  Oct 14, 2016
  • Qualifying Match Starts  --  Dec 1, 2016
  • Qualifying Match Ends  --  Feb 28, 2017
  • Final Match Data Release  --  Mar 15, 2017
  • Final Match Submission Due  --  May 15, 2017

Additional rules

For any questions or comments, please put them in the comment field below. Please link your name to your LinkedIn profile. 

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