Kaggle Competition

In this article, we’ll learn about Kaggle, what the hype about Kaggle Competition is all about and explore the different types of Kaggle Competition. This article is a part of the Kaggle Series. This is the first introduction to Kaggle. We’ll explore more about the machine learning in further articles to come.  

What is Kaggle? 

Just like our C# Corner is a global community of software and data developers and engineer which focuses on adding value to the lives of people in technology, Kaggle is also a community. However, it focuses majorly on data scientists and practitioners of machine learning. Furthermore, it also provides a platform to collaborate with other machine learning engineers and data scientists to explore datasets, build models through data-science environment which is completely web based, and participate in competitions to solve machine learning and data science problems.  

Kaggle Competition 

Since 2010, Kaggle has been a platform to offer hundreds of machine learning competitions which in turn has become a public data platform and a workbench for data science which is completely cloud based.   

There are various types of Kaggle Competition which we will go through in a moment. The competition however, permeates the global community of 194 countries and over 8 million users. This is a platform for people who are beginners and are simply just machine learning enthusiasts as it is for veteran data scientists. Here, the competitions are hosted with detailed data, rules and description for specific problem. Participants then will approach these problems with various techniques, algorithms, and machine learning processes. The goal is to produce the best possible model for the problem. This work can then be shared publicly to the Kaggle Kernels. Other participants can view the work too which enables inspiration for new ideas and learning. Once, the submissions are made using Kaggle API or manual upload, majority of competitions score the submissions automatically and immediately. Based upon the relative predictive score on the hidden solution, the submission scores are set up on the live leaderboard.  

Once the deadline of the competition ends, the top scorers are paid with Prize Money or other form of prizes by the competition host. This would be in exchange for the Intellectual Property of the submission which will then be the property of the community host.  

Over the decade, the Kaggle competition has garnered great output for Microsoft to improve the gesturing recognition for Microsoft Kinect to huge scientific breakthrough in CERN such as the during the search of Higgs Boson. The competition has also gained the participation from the likes of legendary figures in neural network such as Geoffry Hinton in competition hosted by Merck to design software to support molecules search for new drug making.

Furthermore, the Kaggle Competition has also been a playground which has enabled findings for several highly cited academic papers. From Tianqi Chen’s showcase of the capability of XGBOOST, the learnings in the field have been humongous for the search of newer algorithms and the permutation and combination of the use in form of ensemble learning.  

Kaggle Competition Types 

Kaggle has competition for different levels of expertise and prospects along with the diversity in the types of problems itself. The Kaggle competitions have been designed in a way that competitors who are at various stage in the machine learning journey can participate in the diverse range of competition. Discussed below are some of the types of Kaggle Competition.  

Getting Started 

Getting Started are basically the most basic, easiest and approachable competitions available on Kaggle. For anyone who is just getting started in the field of Machine Learning, this is the gateway to participate and learn. These competitions run for the longest duration and thus over time, you’ll find various solutions which makes it the best way to learn the solutions to these problems. However, this type of competitions does not offer any points or prizes in Kaggle. Some of the getting started competitions available are Spaceship Titanic, Natural Language Processing with Disaster Tweets, House Prices – Advanced Regression Techniques. All of these problems use different types of algorithms which can be a great way to learn the Machine Learning approaches.  

The Getting Started competitions invalidates the submission which are over two months. Having the two-month rolling leaderboards provides opportunities to the newer Kaggle users instead of submerging novice ML enthusiasts on the sea of hundreds of old submissions and users which can be extremely demotivating or overwhelming.


Image Source: Kaggle

As the name says, the Research based competition focuses on problems which are experimental in nature. These problems are more domain specific and thus lesser in competitiveness. This has barred the research competition to provide points and prizes too. However, these problems are great for learning and working on problems which might be available elsewhere. They do not have vivid solutions and are extremely integral to deep domains making one who participate in these competitions learn in depth about the specific problem for the distinct field.  

Some of the Research Competitions are TensorFlow – Help Protect the Great Barrier Reef, Google Brain – Ventilator Pressure Prediction, SETI Breakthrough Listen – E. T. Signal Search and more.  


Image Source: Kaggle

The Featured Kaggle Competitions are the most widely recognized as sought after competitions due to its full-scale range of challenges in machine learning and commercial-purpose driven problems. These competitions are open to everyone and garner participation from some of the greatest minds in the field of machine learning and artificial intelligence. The prizes on these competitions go high as up as $500,000 and thus you’d be competing with the veterans and experts in this field. It’s a great learning experience and a way to brush up your skills for real world use case scenario. As of April 2022, the ongoing Featured Competitions are JPX Tokyo Stock Exchange Prediction, U.S Patent Phrase to Phrase Matching, H&M Personalized Fashion Recommendations and more.  

Playground and Simulation

Image Source: Kaggle

The playground competitions are more about having fun during the machine learning participation. Problems such as identifying Dogs VS Cats, Predicting Victory margin in Basketball Tournament can be seen in this list of competition. The Playground is basically just a notch over in terms of difficulty compared to the Getting Started challenges. It is for newcomers who are interested in low-stake competition to win some small cash prizes.   

Image Source: Kaggle

Different kind of simulation problems are offered via the Simulation competitions. These are basically designed for solutions for games. Lux AI, Hungry Geese, Google Research Football with Manchester City F.C, Halite by Two Sigma – Playground Edition are some of the simulation competitions.  


These challenges are hosted by companies with the goal of hiring some machine learning engineers and data scientists. The recruitment competition offers problems which are curated by large corporations and allows the participants to upload their resume once the competition is over. The prize here is the potential job interview at these companies. Airbnb, Walmart and numerous others have hosted these competitions before with challenges ranging from new user booking prediction to sales forecasting of store.  


Image Source: Kaggle

As the name suggests, the Analytics Competition is mainly about Analytics. From feature extraction for Analytics of water amount prediction in competition like Acea Smart Water Analytics, LearnPlatform COVID – 19 Impact on Digital Learning, NFL Big Data Bowl 2021, Data Science for Good: City of Los Angeles – the Analytics competitions are different from other categories of competition and are specifically about Analytics. 

Limited Participation 

The competitions under the limited participation are invite-only or mostly private. These competitions are hosted rarely though and has limited visibility. Usually, Kaggle Masters and Grandmasters are invited to participate in these Master’s competitions.  

Prizes and Awards 

Image Source: Kaggle

The prizes in the Kaggle competition ranges from monetary, medals and in other forms such as of Kaggle TPU access. Depending upon the type of competition as discussed above, some competitions do not provide any form of prize of awards while some can range to over half a million dollars.  


Thus, in this article, we discussed about Kaggle, the Kaggle Competitions and its benefits. We then got introduced to various types of Kaggle Competitions in detail. This is the first part of the Kaggle Series article. In the upcoming articles, we’ll learn about Kaggle Projects, submissions and more which will help you dive into machine learning and participate in some of the elite machine learning and data science competition in the world.

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