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Helping Balloons Navigate the Weather

It is the year 2050 and balloons are the preferred method to deliver parcels. Can you create the best algorithm to help these balloons navigate weather conditions and improve logistics?

Can You Create the Best Algorithm?

Data experts from around the world are invited to use Tianchi, Alibaba Cloud’s global big data crowd intelligence platform, to develop solutions relating to a potential future world in which deliveries by unmanned balloons need to be optimized to navigate the variability of the UK weather.

The contest is set in 2050, in a world where the invention of ‘anti-gravity engines’ has led to the creation of unmanned balloons as the preferred logistics solution. However, because of the UK’s complex meteorological conditions, the balloons are occasionally delayed, damaged or even destroyed by extreme weather conditions causing disruption and loss. The contestants will be challenged to create algorithms that can plan flight routes for these balloons to navigate the endless variation and changeable nature across the UK to optimize their delivery schedules and costs. The team that comes up with the best solution will win $8,000 in cash, an opportunity to visit the Met Office Informatics Lab in Exeter, United Kingdom, and the chance to join Alibaba and the Met Office on stage at the GSMA Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Contestants will utilise public meteorological data provided by the Met Office. Participants will be able to test their algorithms and modify their models.

Why You Should Sign Up
Your Chance to Win: $16,000 Up For Grabs!

The top 3 teams will receive cash prizes of $8,000, $5,000 and $3,000, respectively.

Access to the Met Office Weather Data

Get access to four sets of weather data provided by the Met Office and challenge yourself through this unique opportunity.

Develop Your Skills

Tweak and refine your submission until you reach the top of the leaderboard.

Visit the Met Office

The winning team will have the opportunity to visit the Met Office Informatics Lab team for one week (i.e. five working days) at its collaboration building in Exeter, United Kingdom.

Become Famous

All finalists will enjoy media exposure and the winning team will join Alibaba and the Met Office on stage at the GSMA Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

How it Works: Step by Step Guide

Live Leaderboard & Forum

Your submitted results will be reviewed and scored automatically. A live leaderboard compares your performance against your peers. You can refine your algorithm and re-submit it throughout the competition.

Use the Tianchi contest Forum to meet and greet your competitors from across Europe and beyond.

  • 1Registration – Until January 31,2018
    Download the instructions on how to sign up on Tianchi (you will need this to speed things up!)
    Visit the Tianchi contest website and sign up. You can sign up 1 to 3 people in your team.
  • 2Qualification – Until January 31, 2018
    Download the Met Office data from the Tianchi platform
    Debug the algorithms locally, and submit the results online (i.e. test your abilities and work your magic!)
    The top 100 teams will qualify for the semi-finals
  • 3The Semi-finals – Until February 9, 2018
    A new set of data will be released for you to work on
    The top 5 teams will qualify for the finals
  • 4The Finals – February 2018
    The finalists will be asked to present their submission to a jury… more details to be confirmed closer to-date!
    The prize winners will be announced late February and invited to join us at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in March
You Are Two Steps Away From Signing Up

Think you are up to the challenge? Alright then – let’s get you started. First challenge is signing up for the contest – but don’t worry, we have you covered, first download our visual overview on how to use Tianchi and then click through to sign up.

Download instructions on how to sign up

Registration Instructions

Sign up on Tianchi

Sign Up Now
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