APU Research Group placed top 3 in Data Mining Cup 2023

  • Project used natural language processing to analyse user reviews
  • 69 teams sent entries, APU's team only research group from Asia

(L to R) Asso Prof Dr. Nirase Fathima Abubacker and Mafas Raheem, senior lecturers at APU presenting to judges and fellow winners in Berlin on the analytics model that won them a Top 3 spot in the Data Mining Cup 2023.

A team of academics and a student from the Asia Pacific University of Technology & Innovation (APU) were among the top three winners of the Data Mining Cup (DMC) 2023. The other two teams in the top spots were the Anhalt University of Applied Sciences (AUAS) and the Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences (Frankfurt UAS) from Germany. 

The research group consisted of Senior Lecturer Mafas Raheem, Associate Professor Nirase Fathima Abubacker (both from the School of Computing (SoC) and Devina Wiyani, a student from the BSc (Hons) in Computer Science specialising in Data Analytics.

Of the 69 teams from 17 countries that submitted data mining and artificial intelligence projects in the retail industry, APU's team was the only research group from Asia. The window for submitting the project was between 8 March and 24 May. Those picked were announced on 26 March after which they had six weeks to submit their projects.

As one of the three projects picked, APU's team was flown to Berlin, Germany, by the organiser, GK Artificial Intelligence for Retail AG, Germany, to present their data mining project and participate in the Data Mining Cup workshop on 22 and 23 June. The annually held Data Mining Cup competition aims to enthuse university academics and students in intelligent data analysis (data mining) and to challenge them to find the best solution while competing with others.

APU's team project was titled Returns Reduction in E-commerce. It addresses challenges faced by e-commerce sellers with high product return rates by classifying and analysing product reviews. High return rates can negatively impact sales and sustainability. The project identifies common themes and issues in reviews by using Natural Language Processing (NLP).

"The project provides insights into customer review sentiment, letting sellers quickly identify areas of concern and take action to improve their products and services," said Mafas, who has mentored students to top awards in similar competitions over the past four years.

Nirase Fathima is an expert in Data Science and Data Mining, with experience as a visiting professor at the United Arab Emirates University, UAE, and an Associate Professor at Dublin City University at Princess Noura University, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
For Devina, who is in her final year of undergraduate studies, this represents her second win in an international competition this year. She was recently recognised as one of 13 winners in a Microsoft organised hackathon targeted at women in tech in Asia Pacific.

"I consider myself extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to travel to Berlin and present our ideas and projects. This experience has provided invaluable practical exposure for me in developing AI and data implementation in the retail industry, aligning perfectly with my career aspirations."

After holding the competition for more than 20 years, the organiser made it more interactive with a focus on networking this year by highlighting several projects from the winners in a joint workshop in Berlin.

APU research group with the winners and jury of Data Mining Cup 2023 at its workshop in Berlin. (Far left is Mafas Raheem; to his left is Asso Prof Dr Nirase Fathima Abubacker, both senior lecturers of the School of Computing at APU with APU computer science student Devina Wiyani, who specialises in Data Analytics standing, second from right, in cream jacket.


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