Fourth #Recsys Stammtisch Berlin

2012-10-23 22:38 More posts about Mahout Recommender Systems recsys
This evening the 4th #recsys Stammtisch (German for "a meetup involving beer") was kindly organised by Alan Said, Zeno Gantner and Till Plumbaum. The event was hosted by Aklamio with beers and drinks provided by Plista. They had three talks:

  • @AlanSaid gave an overview of the topics covered in this year's RecSys conference in Dublin. Instead of going into too much technical detail the presentation gave a whirl-wind tour of the topics that are currently under discussion, the competitions to participate in and links to people relevant to the topic to follow up with. He put his slides online already.
  • As second speaker the meetup had @zenogantner give a tour to his MyMedialight recommender system library. Though written in c# there is no need for a deep c# knowledge to use the system - it comes with useful command line tools out of the box, supports all common algorithms and evaluation setups. One of the few talks where life demos actually worked.
  • The third talk - one of the rare "slide-free" presentations - covered Plista and it's relation to recommender systems. After going into some more detail on where they came from (from a big over-arching solution down to the narrow, sharp focus of doing ad recommendations), where they want to go (back to an over-arching solution to be offered as a service with the goal of bringing interaction data of many services together in one hosted system). Most interesting news to me: They are working on an open source web-service layer for Apache Mahout that seems to be already in production. Definitely something to watch.

Overall a good crowd of over 20 people from various startups, universities and larger companies in Berlin joined the meetup. There were even some people travelling there from Magdeburg. Pretty good to know that there are so many people knowledgeable in the general area of recommender systems in and close to Berlin - and good to see some of those I knew already before the meetup again. Looking forward to the next event - any volunteers for organising one?