The goal of this series of challenges, conducted from August 2013 to January 2015, was to predict the locations and times that the cyanobacteria bloom to occur. Algae are natural components of marine and freshwater flora performing many roles that are vital for the health of ecosystems. However, excessive growth of algae becomes a nuisance to users of water bodies for recreation activities and to drinking water providers. Moreover, as “blooms” form, the risk of toxin contamination of surface waters increases, especially for some species of algae with the ability to produce toxins and other noxious chemicals (see the marathon match problem statement).
A three-week marathon match, $15,000 prize purse competition yielded 30 unique code submitters and 460 submissions. The winning algorithm predicts the cyanobacteria concentrations with an accuracy of an order of magnitude as compared to measured values. Subsequently, a user app for mobile phones was developed for practitioner use. Fore more information see here.