Other methods used include XGBoost and linear regression, but unfortunately their score on RMSE was not low enough to beat the winning team and earn lifelong fame and a dinner at La Fontana.
Time is always a limiting factor (at hackathons)
It is the case for every hackathon: you would like to do more in the provided time frame than possible. Therefore, it is always good to start with something simple and basic and have a baseline for your team to build upon further. This is usually not what happens: teams start with something complex, which means they stress nearing the finish and end up with a solution that does not meet the requirements set at the beginning, or even can’t come up with a presentable solution at all. Starting with something basic and build further from this means that at the end of the hackathon you have at least a substantial result (value) to show. And that is what counts: bringing value to the table in the time frame that you have.
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