The Insurance Company (TIC) Benchmark
Original Problem Task Description
(This was the original text at the CoIL
Challenge 2000 website. The Challenge is closed now.)
Direct mailings to a company’s potential
customers – “junk mail” to many – can be a very effective way for them
to market a product or a service. However, as we all know, much of this junk
mail is really of no interest to the people that receive it. Most of it ends up
thrown away, not only wasting the money that the company spent on it, but also
filling up landfill waste sites or needing to be recycled.
If the company had a better understanding of who their potential customers were, they would know more accurately who to send it to, so some of this waste and expense could be reduced. Therefore, following a successful CoIL competition last year (See Synergy Issue 1, Winter 1999), CoIL has just announced a new competition challenge for 2000:
Can you predict who
would be interested in buying a caravan insurance policy and give an explanation
The competition consists of two tasks:
Predict which customers are potentially interested in a caravan insurance policy.
Describe the actual or potential customers; and possibly explain why these customers buy a caravan policy.
Participants need to provide a solution for both tasks. For both tasks only one winner will be chosen.
We want you to predict whether a customer is interested in a caravan insurance policy from other data about the customer. Information about customers consists of 86 variables and includes product usage data and socio-demographic data derived from zip area codes. The data was supplied by the Dutch data mining company Sentient Machine Research and is based on a real world business problem. The training set contains over 5000 descriptions of customers, including the information of whether or not they have a caravan insurance policy. A test set contains 4000 customers of whom only the organisers know if they have a caravan insurance policy.
Peter van der Putten (firstname.lastname@example.org; back to the TIC homepage)