24 Nov 2020 13:16

Interfax sums up results of participating in Archipelago 20.35 online educational project

The Interfax Group has summed up the results of participating in the Archipelago 20.35 intensive online educational project, having determined the winners of the competition to find solutions in order to assess the efficacy of procurement in the healthcare sector using machine-learning technologies.

The competition was organized as part of the Universities Program "Digital Technologies for Education and Science" as implemented by the Interfax Group. The program is designed to improve the qualifications of young specialists, teachers, and researchers, by introducing modern practices for handling big data in research activities of the country's leading universities and research centers.

The Interfax LAB Research Center operated at St. Petersburg State University (SPU) in partnership with VTB Bank for the period of implementing the Archipelago 20.35 intensive online educational project. The LAB's goal was to organize the exchange of knowledge as well as to search for new approaches to resolving business issues using artificial intelligence, thus allowing for the discovery of new methods of automation as well as simplifying the manual processes.

The Interfax LAB participants were tasked with monitoring the prices of purchased medicines and equipment in order to model the process of customers' controlling the spending of budgetary funds.

At the first stage of work, experts from Interfax and partner companies conducted a series of master classes on modern algorithms for monitoring the economic situation in a crisis and machine learning for solving applied problems. The participants then received a pre-prepared set of data from the Marker-Interfax system with information on goods from contracts published in the Unified Information System (UIS) in order to work independently and solve the task. Participants could use a variety of analysis methods, from the simplest descriptive statistics to detect anomalies to sophisticated methods of text recognition and identifying abnormal behavioral patterns.

"While solving the practical tasks set within the laboratory, all students demonstrated a high level of proficiency in the skills and talent of analyzing semi-structured data as well as identifying anomalies using machine learning methods that could indicate unfair behavior on the part of bidders during a pandemic," Director of the Interfax LAB Research Center and head of the Archipelago 20.35 project as well as a member of the competition committee of the intensive online educational project Ilya Munerman said.

The competition was attended by 20 people, six of whom reached the finals, having proposed the most interesting solutions for the jury.

According to the head of the Marker-Interfax project, Yevgenia Bengina, "a number of the solutions presented at the competition deserve attention, and, in the future, some of the proposed approaches could be used to develop the functionality of our system."

The Archipelago 20.35 intensive online educational project took place from November 7 to November 21 with the aim of forming teams of specialists capable of creating projects in the field of artificial intelligence. The Agency for Strategic Initiatives, the Innovation Promotion Foundation, the Skolkovo Foundation, University 20.35, as well as NTI Platform were among the organizers.

St. Petersburg University is one of Europe's largest scientific and educational centers. Today, more than 20,000 students study at the University, Nobel laureates and Fields medalists work and conduct research here, and more than 15 large laboratories and 26 resource centers have been established that are part of the country's leading Science Park.

Interfax is Russia's largest non-governmental information group, having created the advanced information and analytical systems SPARK, SCAN, RuData, Marker, and X-Compliance that assist businesses to manage risks and work with data efficiently. The group includes one of the most famous and most cited Russian news agencies worldwide, Interfax, whose clients include leading media outlets, government agencies, major corporations, as well as banks in Russia and globally.