Alibaba Cloud & Met Office Data Challenge: Helping Balloons Navigate the Weather

Written by Rachel Furner
January 9, 2018

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.

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