ACM RecSys Challenge 2018


The RecSys Challenge 2018 will be organized by Spotify, The University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and Johannes Kepler University, Linz. Spotify is an online music streaming service with over 140 million active users and over 30 million tracks. One of its popular features is the ability to create playlists, and the service currently hosts over 2 billion playlists.

This year’s challenge focuses on music recommendation, specifically the challenge of automatic playlist continuation. By suggesting appropriate songs to add to a playlist, a Recommender System can increase user engagement by making playlist creation easier, as well as extending listening beyond the end of existing playlists.

As part of this challenge, Spotify will be releasing a public dataset of playlists, consisting of a large number of playlist titles and associated track listings. The evaluation set will contain a set of playlists from which a number of tracks have been withheld. The task will be to predict the missing tracks in those playlists.

A detailed description of the challenge can be found on https://recsys-challenge.spotify.com. Accepted contributions will be presented during the RecSys Challenge Workshop in 2018.

Publications top

"Current Challenges and Visions in Music Recommender Systems Research" M. Schedl, H. Zamani, C.-W. Chen, Y. Deldjoo, M. Elahi.

"Recsys Challenge 2018: Automatic Music Playlist Continuation" C.-W. Chen, P. Lamere, M. Schedl, H. Zamani.

"Proceedings of the ACM Recommender Systems Challenge 2018"

"An Analysis of Approaches Taken in the ACM RecSys Challenge 2018 for Automatic Music Playlist Continuation" H. Zamani, M. Schedl, P. Lamere, C.-W. Chen.

Participation and Data

Update for 2020:In Sept 2020, Spotify released an identical challenge and dataset named The Million Playlist Dataset Challenge. The dataset is available for non-commercial research use, and submissions to the challenge will be graded on an ongoing basis. Please visit the Million Playlist Dataset Challenge website for the terms and conditions.

The data for this year's challenge is provided by Spotify and can be downloaded from http://recsys-challenge.spotify.com. You can access the data once you create an account and agree with the terms and conditions. The information on the challenge participation can also be found on this website.

Timeline top

Note: the timeline is subject to slight modifications.

When? What?
January 2018 Release of the Million Playlist Dataset
March 2018 RecSys Challenge starts.
  • Submission system will be available for offline evaluation.
  • Each team can submit at most 1 run per day.
  • A daily leaderboard will be available once the challenge starts. The submissions are evaluated based on 50% of a private test set.
June 30, 2018 Final submission due (11:59 PM in the UTC-12:00 time zone).
Early July 2018 Announcement of the final leaderboard.
  • The daily leaderboard is recalculated using the private test set.
  • The test set will be made publicly available.
July 15, 2018 Paper submission due
  • Note: paper submission is necessary for the winners.
  • Page limit: 4-6 pages (ACM SIG Format)
  • Submission website: EasyChair
August 13, 2018 Paper Acceptance Notifications
  • The submitted papers will be evaluated based on the novelty, the clarity, and the empirical results.
  • Each paper will be reviewed by at least three PC members.
  • Accepted papers should be presented in the RecSys Challenge Workshop.
August 27, 2018 Camera-ready due for the accepted papers.
October 7, 2018 Workshop will take place as part of the ACM RecSys conference in Vancouver, Canada.

Workshop Program and Accepted Papers

Time Session
09:00 - 09:10 Opening:
  • Welcome and Challenge statistics, Workshop organizers.
09:10 - 10:40 Session 1: Neighborhood-based approaches:
10:40 - 11:00 Coffee Break
11:00 - 12:30 Session 2: Different approaches:
12:30 - 14:00 Lunch Break
14:00 - 15:30 Neural network approaches:
15:30 - 16:00 Coffee Break
16:00 - 17:30 Top-performing approaches:
17:30 - 17:40 Closing

Program Committee top

  • Himan Abdollahpouri, DePaul University, USA
  • Qingyao Ai, University of Massachusetts Amherst, USA
  • Dmitry Bogdanov, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain
  • Matthias Braunhofer, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Italy
  • Ching-Wei Chen, Spotify, USA
  • Marco De Gemmis, University of Bari, Italy
  • Yashar Deldjoo, Polytechnic University of Milan, Italy
  • Mehdi Elahi, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Italy
  • Bruce Ferwerda, Jönköping University, Sweden
  • Emilia Gomez, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain
  • Balázs Hidasi, Gravity R&D, Hungary
  • Dietmar Jannach, AAU Klagenfurt, Austria
  • Peter Knees, TU Wien, Austria
  • David Massimo, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Italy
  • Vijai Mohan, Amazon A9, USA
  • Javier Parapar, University of A Coruña, Spain
  • Neil Rubens, University of Electro-Communications, Japan
  • Alan Said, University of Skövde, Sweden
  • Marko Tkalcic, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Italy
  • Yong Zheng, Illinois Institute of Technology, USA

Challenge Organizers top

Advisors top

Spotify Organizers top

  • Benjamin Carterette
  • Christophe Charbuillet
  • Cedric De Boom
  • Jean Garcia-Gathright
  • James Kirk
  • James McInerney
  • Vidhya Murali
  • Hugh Rawlinson
  • Sravana Reddy
  • Marc Romejin
  • Romain Yon
  • Yu Zhao

Github Twitter