Computer Science students from Notre Dame University-Louaize (NDU) won second place in the final stage of the 24-hour non-stop programming competition Hackathon Beirut 2018. The competition took place on December 17, 2018 at Antonine University. Co-sponsored by Splunk Inc. and BMW Group, 19 teams from seven different Lebanese universities competed to solve an “AI in Logistics” use case, using machine data provided by BMW Group and analyzed with Splunk® Enterprise and the Splunk Machine Learning Toolkit. Six shortlisted teams had the opportunity to pitch their ideas to a panel of experts during the Smart Beirut Summit held on Tuesday, December 18 at the Antonine University.
The six finalist teams were: One team from NDU, two teams from the Antonine University, one team from the American University of Beirut, one team from Saint Joseph University (USJ) and one team from the Lebanese University.
NDU students Ralf Zakarian, Jason Eid and Joe Karam participated as a team in the Hackathon won the second place in the final stage, with a score of 84.4/100, less than one point short of the first team AUB, who scored 85/100.
The challenge presented by BMW Group Logistics was about predicting the relevant transportation process of materials as a flow from the supplier to the manufacturing line for a given product. As the process is defined by a sequence of physical locations, the goal of the contest was to predict those different stops. Different data mining techniques and machine learning algorithms were used to solve this challenge; those include but not limited to decision trees, regression analysis and Bayesian networks.
Developing an effective web application was also part of the challenge. As per the requirements, the web application was meant to be used by a logistics planner to make use of the developed machine learning and data mining models. The web application was graded based on the interface, user experience and level of integration with the aforementioned models. The NDU Team scored a full grade on the web application development as, unlike the rest of the competing 18 teams, it was uniquely developed from scratch.
Dr. Hoda Maalouf, Chairperson of the Computer Science Department at NDU, said: “Our winning team made us so proud. They worked non-stop from Monday 8 am till the end of the presentation on Tuesday 4 pm.” The product they developed was described by Dr. Markus Bauer, Head of Planning, Processes and Systems at BMW Group as “daring and brilliant”.
Our winning Computer Science students were offered a $3000 prize and a six month internship at the BMW logistics app development department in Munich, Germany.
Congratulations to Ralf Zakarian, Jason Eid and Joe Karam for your excellent performance and well-earned victory.