plista GmbH
Torstraße 33
10119 Berlin (Germany)

Tel: +49 (0) 30 47 37 537 0
Fax: +49 (0) 32121 03 81 93

plista GmbH, District Court of Berlin-Charlottenburg, HRB 114726 B
Managing Directors: Dr. Dominik Matyka (CEO), Andreas Richter, Christian Laase


Preamble, Organizer
The challenge is a competition intended to engage programmers in algorithmic
programming. It is run by:

plista GmbH
Torstraße 33-35
D-10119 Berlin
Tel: 030-47375370
Fax: 032121-038193
Directors: Dr. Dominik Matyka • Andreas Richter • Christian Laase

Norwegian University of Science and Technology
NO-7491 Trondheim

Technische Universität Berlin
Fakultät IV Elektrotechnik und Informatik
Scientific Director: Prof. Dr. Ing. Sahin Albayrak
Sekretariat TEL 14
Ernst-Reuter-Platz 7
10587 Berlin

UC Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA 93106

Telenor Group
Oslo – Fornebu
Telenor ASA
Snarøyveien 30
N-1331 Fornebu, Norway

§ 1 Eligibility and Participation

  1. This contest is open to everyone, individuals who are 18 years of age or older as well as teams. Your team can be either private or for example sponsored by a university. If you decide to sign up as a team, please make sure to choose a single team leader who is responsible for the team and will be the person to handle all communication.
  2. Organizers reserve the right to exclude individuals as well as teams at their sole discretion or to disqualify any submission that infringes upon or violates the rights of any third party or otherwise does not comply with these terms. If organizers suspects cheating or violation of the terms by any participant, organizers will take the appropriate action. All decisions of organizers in these matters are final and binding.
  3. All participants must have access to the Internet, a valid postal address, and a valid email address in order to enter the contest.
  4. Organizers may make contributions in form of algorithms too, but these contributions will not be taken into consideration regarding the prize-giving. Their contributions are only for establishing references. Nevertheless, if organizers may contribute, the y will use the same data, have the same prerequisites and will in no case benefit from their function as an organizer or provide benefits for any other participant.
  5. If a participant should not wish to continue his/her participation in the contest, he/she may terminate participation by writing an e-mail to

§ 2 Registration, Cooperation
  1. To participate in the contest, each contestant must register itself at the contest website, located at and follow the instructions provided there.
  2. By entering this contest, candidates automatically agree to reasonable cooperate with organizers concerning the compliance with the rules and to be bound by the terms of this contest as listed in this terms and conditions. If participants fail to comply with these rules organizers have, in their sole discretion, the right to suspend or terminate the participation of contestants.

§ 3 Contest Structure, Costs and Equipment
  1. The contest consists of two rounds for each team: A preliminary round where teams receive a comprehensive data set, consisting of user and item features along with interactions between them. The first round will allow the participants to work on their recommend algorithms. The first round will not be evaluated, it is just for purposes of tuning the algorithms. In the second round the teams will have the chance to interact directly with the real- time recommender system. Therefore they will install their algorithms on a virtual machine or an own server to respond to incoming requests. The second round offers the chance of winning the grand prizes.
  2. The second round will start 15. August 2013 and lasts until 15. September 2013.
  3. Participants have the sole responsibility for the equipment and Internet access required to connect to participate in the contest. Organizers do not incur any expenses of contestants relating to the participation in the contest. If participants wish to use the offered server of plista, this they will not be charged for the usage.
  4. If contestants participate in the second round and use the virtual machine made available by plista, contestants guarantee that they will only use the provided server for purposes of the challenge and will refrain from any usage that is not associated with the challenge. Any action on the server that is not associated with the challenge or the bare attempt to use it for any other purpose and any misuse will lead to the exclusion of the challenge. plista also reserves the right to assert claims of damage.

§ 4 Judging
  1. Participants' submissions are judged by a number of performance indicators such as time efficiency and response rate.

§ 5 Announcement of Winners and Prizes
  1. At the workshop the best solutions will be announced.
  2. Winners will be contacted by the organizers 4 weeks after the workshop via E-mail.
  3. No cash disbursement and/or and replacement of the prizes is possible, recourse to the courts is not permitted.

§ 6 Prize Responsibility, Tax Consequences
  1. In accepting any prize(s), the contest winners acknowledge that organizers may not be held liable for any loss, damages or injury associated with accepting or using the prize(s).
  2. Participation and acceptance of benefits from the contest may have tax and/ or toll consequences for contestants. In the case of local tax/toll liabilities for participation in the contest or the acceptance of a prize or costs/expenses relating to participation or for the use and enjoyment of any prize or any other reason, such taxes, customs duties and and/or expenses are the sole responsibility of the participant.
  3. All prize winners will be responsible for all federal, state and/or local taxes and customs duties resulting from acceptance of any and all prizes related to this contest and agree to self-report to applicable local taxing/toll authorities as may be required by law. Prize winner are not allowed to assign or transfer the prize to third persons. No prize substitution or changes are allowed.
  4. If a potential winner fails to comply with the requirements of law named above, the prize may be forfeited and organizers may, in their sole discretion, select an alternative potential winner.

§ 7 Cancellation of Contest
  1. Organizers reserve the right, in their sole discretion, to reasonably suspend, cancel, terminate or modify the contest should any virus, bug and/or other cause damage the administration, security or proper operation of the contest. In the case of cancellation of contest organizers reserve the right, at their sole discretion, to select the winners of the contest from among all qualified submissions received up to the time of such action. Organizers further have the right to disqualify any participant from contest who tampers with the submission process.

§ 8 Disclaimer of Warranty
  1. To the maximum extent permitted by law participants agree to hold organizers, its subsidiaries and affiliates and their respective directors, employees and assigns (collectively the released parties) harmless for any injury or damage caused or claimed to be caused by participation in the contest and/or use or acceptance of any prize won, except to the extent that any death or personal injury is caused by the negligence of organizers. Organziers will not be liable in the event a typographical or other error occurs in the administration of the contest or the announcement of the winners.
  2. To the maximum extent permitted by law the contestants agree that organizers are hold harmless at all times from and against any liability, claims, demands, losses, damages, costs and expenses resulting from any act, default or omission of the contestant and/or breach of any warranty set forth herein. To the maximum extent permitted by law each contestant agrees to defend, indemnify and hold harmless organizers from and against any and all claims, actions, suits or proceedings, as well as any and all losses, liabilities, damages, costs and expenses (including reasonable attorney fees) arising out of or accruing from
    1. Any entry or other material uploaded or otherwise provided by the contestant that infringes any copyright, trademark, trade secret, trade dress, patent or other intellectual property right of any person or defames any person or violates their rights of publicity or privacy;
    2. Any misrepresentation made by the contestant in connection with the contest;
    3. Any non-compliance by the contestant with these terms;
    4. Claims brought by persons or entities other than the parties to these terms arising from or related to the contestant´s involvement with the contest;
    5. Acceptance, possession, misuse ore use of any prize or participation in any contest-related activity or participation in this contest;
    6. Any malfunction or other problem with the contest site; or
    7. Any error in the collection, processing or retention of entry information.

§ 9 Internet, Delivery of Information
  1. Organizers will not be responsible for lost, late, incomplete, stolen, misdirected, undelivered, delayed, inaccurate, garbled or illegible materials, entries, email or mail or for any computer, telephone, cable, network, satellite, electronic or Internet hardware or software malfunction, failures, connections, or availability, or for garbled or jumbled transmissions, or for service provider/Internet/Website/use net accessibility or availability, traffic congestion, or unauthorized human intervention, or for inaccurate capture of any information, whether caused by printing errors, site users, tampering, hacking, or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the contest.
  2. Moreover organizers do not have the responsibility for any error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operation or transmission, communications line failure, theft or destruction or unauthorized access to the contest site or any communications means or for any other error of failure of any kind in connection with or relating to this contest, whether caused by any human, typographical, printing, mechanical, computer or other means, including without limitation, errors or failures which may occur in connection with the processing or storing of information, the administration to the contest, the uploading, processing validating, posting and/or judging of entries, the announcement of the contest prizes or in any contest-related materials.

§ 10 Original work
  1. By accepting these terms participants declare, that their submission is original and that they are the sole and exclusive owner and right holder of the submission and that they are allowed to enter the contest. By accepting these terms each participant also declares that all parts of his/her submission are either original or are licensed for use by organizers and all contestants in a way that does not:
    1. infringe any third party proprietary, intellectual property, industrial property, personal rights or other rights, including without limitation, copyright, trademark, patent, trade secret or confidentiality obligation or
    2. make use of ideas, hints or solutions for the contest presented, other than by plista, for the first time after the start of the contest in any form, including without limitation from other individuals, participants, websites or blogs or
    3. otherwise violate applicable laws and regulations.

§ 11 Data Protection
  1. Organizers only collect and store personal data entered by the participants during the registration for the contest, including name, postal address, mailing address, phone number, and email address in order to use it for the purposes and within the context of the contest. If a contestant does not provide any of the data required for the registration, the entry of the contestant will be ineligible.
  2. Contestants agree that organizers may use this data for verifying a participant’s identity, postal address and telephone number in the event a contestant qualifies for a prize. All of this information is treated in confidence, subject to the provisions of the data protection legislation in force. Contestants have the right to access, review, rectify or cancel any personal data held by organizers in connection with the contest by writing an e-mail to organizers.

§ 12 Copyright
  1. Each participant will retain ownership of and all intellectual and industrial property rights to his or her contest submission; provided that contestants agree that organizers shall have a permanent, irrevocable, world-wide, royalty-free right to use, copy, distribute and modify the submission in connection with the operation, conduct and administration of the contest.

§ 13 Exclusion of Contract of Employment
  1. The submission of an entry into the contest, the awarding of a prize or anything in these terms shall under no circumstance be construed as an offer or contract of employment with the organizers. Every participant confirms that he/she have submitted the entry voluntarily and not in confidence or trust. In addition, every contestant confirms that no confidential, fiduciary, agency or other relationship or implied-in-fact contract now exists between him/her and the organizers and that no such relationship is established by the submission of an entry under these terms.

§ 14 Final Provisions
  1. These terms and conditions contain all agreements made between the parties in respect of the subject matter hereof and shall supersede all previous agreements, written or oral, agreed between the parties in respect of the subject matter hereof. No ancillary agreements to this agreement have been made. Changes and amendments to this agreement must be made in writing in order to be valid.
  2. These terms and conditions shall be governed by German law without regard to the conflicts of law provisions thereof. If legally permitted the parties agree on the exclusive jurisdiction of the local courts in Berlin in respect of any disputes arising out of or in connection with this agreement.
  3. Should any provision of these rules, terms and conditions be or become invalid, ineffective or unenforceable, the remaining provisions shall remain valid. The invalid, ineffective or unenforceable provision should be replaced by a valid, effective and enforceable provision. This shall also apply in the event of a gap

For the purpose of the challenge, plista provides two sets of data: an offline data set and an online data set.
Whereas, the contestant and plista anticipate that plista may disclose or deliver to the contestant certain confidential technical and/or business related information linked to plista or users of the website and whereas plista desires to assure that the confidentiality of any of this confidential information is maintained.
Now, therefore in consideration of the foregoing premises, and the mutual covenants contained herein, plista and the contestant hereby agree as follows:

§ 1 Definitions

  1. „Confidential information” for the purpose of this agreement shall mean all company and business secrets relating to the company which are made available to the contestant after conclusion of this agreement. This refers in particular user data being transmitted to the contestant.
  2. In case of doubt technical, commercial or personal transactions which are made available to the contestant during the contest, such as data relating to web page impressions or click feedback, are referred to as confidential information.
  3. Notwithstanding the above, the parties agree that information shall not be deemed confidential information and the contestant shall have no obligation to hold in confidence such information which:
    1. is available to the general public at the time of disclosure or became available to the general public thereafter, without a breach of contract;
    2. is already legitimately in the possession of the receiving party at the time of transmission;
    3. have been disclosed to the contestant without the infringement of a duty of confidentiality;
    4. is shown to plista by contestant, within one week from receipt of confidential information, by underlying documentation to have been known by contestant before receipt from plista.

§ 2 Duties
  1. By entering into this agreement the contestant acknowledges to hold in trust and confidence, and not disclose to any third party or others or use for contestant´s own benefit or for the benefit of another, any confidential information, especially company and business secrets, which is disclosed by plista. The contestant agrees to keep all reasonable matters to ensure that confidential information named in article 1 of this agreement is kept confidential and not disclosed or used by third parties.
  2. The above obligation to keep confidential information secret shall remain in full force and effect for the duration of the contest and shall survive and continue after any expiration or termination of this agreement and 12 months after the contest is finished.

§ 3 Handling / Return of Confidential Information
  1. The contestant is obliged to refrain from using confidential information which is made available to him/her after conclusion of this agreement for others than purposes relating to the contest, from copying, reproducing or disclosing confidential information to any third party without prior written approval from the company. All confidential information disclosed under this agreement shall be and remain the property of plista and nothing contained in this agreement shall be construed as granting or conferring any rights to such confidential information on the contestant.
  2. Upon completion of the contest the contestant is obliged to promptly return or destroy all confidential information delivered by plista.

§ 4 Consequences for breach of agreement
  1. Any breach by the contestant of any of his/her obligations under this agreement will entitle plista to injunctive and other equitable relief to prevent such breach or to remedy an actual breach, in addition to any other remedies which may be available to it. plista especially is entitled to claim damages and other costs from the contestant resulting from the breach of this agreement.

§ 5 General Provisions
  1. This agreement contains all agreements made between the parties in respect of the subject matter hereof and shall supersede all previous agreements, written or oral, agreed between the parties in respect of the subject matter hereof. No ancillary agreements to this agreement have been made. Changes and amendments to this agreement must be made in writing in order to be valid.
  2. This agreement shall be governed by German law with the exception of the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG) and the International Private Law (IPR). If legally permitted the parties agree on the exclusive jurisdiction of the local courts in Berlin in respect of any disputes arising out of or in connection with this agreement.
  3. Should any provision of this agreement be or become invalid, ineffective or unenforceable, the remaining provisions shall remain valid. The parties undertake to replace the invalid, ineffective or unenforceable provision by a valid, effective and enforceable provision which comes as close as possible to the economic interests of the parties. This shall also apply in the event of a contractual gap.