KDD Cup 2015: The story of how I built hundreds of predictive models….And got so close, yet so far away from 1st place!

Data Until I Die!

The challenge from the KDD Cup this year was to use their data relating to student enrollment in online MOOCs to predict who would drop out vs who would stay.

The short story is that using H2O and a lot of my free time, I trained several hundred GBM models looking for the final one which eventually got me an AUC score of 0.88127 on the KDD Cup leaderboard and at the time of this writing landed me in 120th place. My score is 2.6% away from 1st place, but there are 119 people above me!

Here are the main characters of this story:

mariadb
MySQL Workbench
R
H2O

It started with my obsessive drive to find an analytics project to work on. I happened upon the KDD Cup 2015 competition and decided to give it a go. It had the characteristics of a project that I wanted to get…

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