When high speed rail rolling stock, Shinkansen, travels during snowfall, snow adheres on its bogie part. An increase in the amount of adhering snow may cause its falling into the track. This falling has a risk of destruction of track infrastructure and so on. Therefore, prediction of the largest amount of adhering snow on the bogie with the risk of falling on the day is required in order to make a decision on the necessity of the next day's removing adhering snow on the previous day. For this reason, improving the prediction accuracy of the amount of adhering snow is expected super effective to support deciding on the necessity of removing snow on the next day.
In the competition, participants will create a model that predicts the amount of adhering snow quantitatively by analyzing historical data of weather conditions, traveling conditions and amount of adhering snow. Though it may be a very complicated problem as it requires viewpoints of both meteorology and railway operation, we would like to make use of your great ideas, technical skills, and creativity to find an innovative solution and keep on improving the quality of railway operations.


The following data is given for creating algorithms (see Download Data page for more details).

Adhering snow data

Amount of snow accumulated on the railway bogie part measured by laser scanner when the railway stops at Toyama station and Itoigawa station.

Geographic data

These data include kilometrage and longitude / latitude information of civil engineering structures (railway station / tunnel) and JR-owned measuring instruments (anemometer / snow depth meter).

Train traveling data

Diagram: Indicates common timetable corresponding to each train (local and express) ID.

Train without adhering snow at the arrival of Kanazawa station: It indicates the ID number of train whose amount of adhering snow is zero at Kanazawa station as it leaves from Rolling stock maintenance depot to Kanazawa station. As for the other train ID numbers, the amount of adhering snow is unknown as they turn back at Kanazawa station.

Meteorological Agency data

Of the historical meteorological data acquired from Meteorological Agency, we have extracted data with following condition.

Peroid: Dec 1, 2015 ~ Mar 31, 2016 and Dec 1, 2016 ~ Mar 31, 2017

Locations: Kanazawa・Toyama・Itoigawa

※Other than the above condition, participants can use open data as long as they are free.

Anemometer data

Data measured in seconds by anemometers uniquely set up (at 20 points in total) by JR West.

Wind speed (Instantaneous): Measured in units of 0.1m/s.

Wind direction (Instantaneous): A direction given by degrees. North corresponds to 0°, and the angles increase clockwise.

Snow depth data

Depth of snow measured on track surface and on trench located at the outside of the railway track. Depending on the set up and measurement point of snow depth gauge, the data to be utilized may vary. For more details, please refer to [doc_1.pptx].

Track: Measured with the height of rail surface as the reference (0cm)

Trench:  Measured with the bottom of gutter as the reference (0cm)

Glossary of technical terms

Adhering snow: Amount of adhering snow on the rolling stock bogie.

Kilometrage: Accumulated distance from Kanazawa station, which indicates a location of station, tunnel, and each measuring instrument.

Train ID: An identifier given to each train in a diagram.

Basic information

Operating section: Kanazawa station -> Itoigawa station

Target variable: Amount of snow accretion on the railway bogie part at the arrival of Toyama station for all railways during test set period

Train set period: Jan 19 to Dec 31, 2016

Test set period: Jan 1 to Mar 31, 2017

Submissions are scored on the WMAE (Weighted Mean Absolute Error).
The ratio of weights is the sum of 1 and the absolute value of the true value multiplied by 10 ^ 4.

Determination of the final rankings

1. During the competition, scores on the leaderboard are computed based solely on a fraction of the test set. We use the rest of the set to evaluate and determine the final ranking after the competition.

2. If you have the same score with the other participants, the rank will be placed on a first-submit.

Preliminary winners are asked to provide the following items:
 - Model source code
 - Pre-trained model
 - Model documentation*1 (Execution environment, execution time**1, random seed value*2, feature descriptions and importances*3, modeling approach, insights, and so on)
 *1: Give a description of each of the following parts: preprocessing, training, and predicting
 *2: Specify it if used
 *3: If available
 - Questionnaire (motivation for the competition, elapsed time, feedbacks, and so on)

3. When a preliminary winner falls under any of the following, it will lose its eligibility to claim the prize:
 - Does not respond to the contact within the prescribed period
 - Unable to reproduce the result
 - Does not meet the terms or rules

4. When a person is disqualified, its runner-up will be eligible for winning the prize.

Please keep in mind to create a practical model as each competition, in principle, has its own goal such as achieving business challenges, solving social problems, and sharing results of studies.

One account per individual
・You may have one account per participant.

Creating a team
Please follow these procedure to create a team.
 1. Create a SIGNATE account for each member.
 2. Send us a mailing list of the team by a team leader's email address.
Please use a team leader's account to submit predictions.

No private sharing
・Sharing code or data outside of teams is not permitted.

Data limitations
・You may use external data as long as it can be obtained for free and does not infringe any third party rights.
・In predicting y at time t, you may use the information available until time t.

①From Meteorological Agency database, participants can use hourly information of temperature, precipitation, wind speed, relative humidity, and weather during the same day as the target date of prediction.
These information are provided by Japan Weather Association and are forecasted the day before.
Let's say we are making a prediction on Jan 11, 2017:
  data with index before 2017-01-12 00:00:00 can be used.
Please note: 24:00 of one day is the same time as 00:00 of the following day.
② From Meteorological Agency database, data of snow depth, anemometer and the other items not listed in the above ① can be used as long as they are disclosed on or before 4 AM on the target date of prediction.
Participants can also use external data as input data as long as they can be acquired on or before 4 AM on the target date of prediction.
Let's say we are making a prediction on Jan 11, 2017:
  data with index before 2017-01-11 04:00:00 can be used.
③ Please not that the weather information (other than ①) considered necessary for improving prediction accuracy of the amount of snow accretion can be used as secondary input data by estimating the relationship with (primary) input data of ① (See figure below).

Other limitations
・You may use any softwares as long as they are open sourced and free.
・Creating a predictive model by plagiarism or plagiarism of an existing research is not permitted.
・Modeling process should be divided into 3 parts and a source code for each part has to be executable independently.
 1. Preprocessing
  Define functions for both train and test set.
 2. Training
  Define functions that generate such as pre-trained model, feature importances, and results of cross validation.
 3. Predicting
  Define functions that generate predictions by importing input variables and pre-trained models.

Tips for modeling
Though participants can only use temperature, precipitation, wind speed, relative humidity, and weather as input data for prediction dates in this competition, we would like to introduce the ideas to estimate other weather conditions from the meteorological point of view based on these meteorological conditions (*For more details, please refer to [doc_2.pptx] on the data download page).

A method to estimate amount of snowfall from precipitation
Precipitation during snowfall indicates the depth of water when the drifted snow melts into water.
Amount of snowfall indicates the depth of snow (snow depth) that has been precipitated. Even with the same precipitation, the value of snowfall will change depending on the density ratio of water and snow.
Since it is shown that the density of snow changes depending on the temperature from past experimental law, it is possible to estimate the amount of snowfall from the temperature and the precipitation during snowfall.

A method to estimate solar radiation from sunshine duration
 The amount of solar radiation is an indicator of the strength of energy due to the sun's sunshine, and an increase in the amount of solar radiation during snowfall or snowfall acts in the direction of melting snow (the snow density increases). It is possible to estimate based on the relational expression between sunshine hours and solar radiation at a point where solar radiation data is not observed. As will be described later, it is possible to estimate the sunshine hours from the weather.

A method to estimate sunshine duration from the weather
 It is possible to find a correlation between weather and sunshine duration by analyzing statistically based on the historical weather data. For reference, we show the relationship between weather and sunshine duration in case of using the Meteorological Agency data of Kanazawa city which is prepared in this competition. By using the above relation, it can be used to estimate the sunshine duration condition at the point where the sunshine duration is not observed and the target date of prediction.

Historical weather information: Meteorological Agency
Weather forecast: The meteorological society of japan (tenki.jp)
Method of predicting the amount of adhering snow on rolling stock bogie
Snow control measures on the Tohoku Shinkansen line between Hachinohe and Shin-Aomori: Part 6
Science of the atmosphere close to the ground surface

Disclosure policy

As a general rule, in accordance with Article 4, Paragraph 1 of the terms of participation, diclosing any contents such as insights and deliverables transmitted through the information or data provided by our company in relation to this competition is not permitted, however, only after the completion of this competition and for non-commercial purposes, it will be possible to disclose the contents within the score of the table below
Model *1
Analysis results *2
Public : Posting to social media sites, blogs and source repositories, and citing to papers
Restricted : Using in a limited range from research, education to seminars, where many unspecified people cannot access
*1 Execution unit source code and learned models
*2 The insights obtained using the information and data provided, or the solutions including scripts and processed data such as summary statistics

In order to participate in the Competition, you are required to agree to these Terms, in addition to the Terms of Use of SIGNATE.JP Site (hereinafter referred to as the “Terms of Use”). You should participate in the Competition after reading carefully and agreeing to these Terms. If you agree, these Terms, the matters that are added to these Terms as "additional matters", the Terms of Use and other terms and conditions that you have agreed to shall be binding on the relevant parties as integral documents.

Article 1. Definitions

1.For the purpose of these Terms, the following terms shall be defined as follows:

(1)"Site" means the website "SIGNATE (https://signate.jp)” on which the Competitions are posted.
(2)"Competition" means any competition on AI development or data analysis on the Site as held by the Host.
(3)"Host" is the host(s) of the Competitions. The Host may be SIGNATE, Inc. (hereinafter referred to as the “Company”) or the Company’s client companies, affiliated companies, schools or organizations, etc. (hereinafter referred to as the “Client(s)”).
(4)"Participant(s)" means the member(s) who participate in a Competition.
(5)"Submissions" means, collectively, the analysis and prediction results and reports, etc. as submitted in the Competition.
(6)"Final Submissions" means the Submissions that are specified by a Participant on the prescribed page in the Site by the time of completion of a Competition.
(7)"Winner Candidate" means the Participant who has received a notice from the Company that he/she is nominated as a winner candidate.
(8)"Submissions for Final Judgment" means the analysis and prediction model and learning data, etc. as submitted by a Winner Candidate pursuant to the instructions of the Company.
(9)"Final Judgment" means the acceptance inspection and judgment, including reproducibility verification, by the Company for the Final Submissions and Submissions for Final Judgment of a Winner Candidate.
(10)"Winner" means the Winner Candidate who is informed by the Company that he/she has won a prize.
2.Unless otherwise defined in these Terms, the terms used in these Terms that are defined in the Terms of Use shall have the same meaning as defined in the Terms of Use.

Article 2. Competition

1.A member who desires to participate in a Competition shall be required to agree to these Terms and to satisfy the conditions for participation as specified in each such Competition. Any person who is not a member shall not participate in any Competition.
2.Participants shall participate in each Competition in the manner as advised by the Company and shall be obligated to comply with the rules as prescribed in each Competition.
3.Participants may submit the Submissions for the assignment of each Competition during the period of such Competition and submit a proposal on the method of solving the problem to the Host by the end of the period of the said Competition.
4.Participants may submit the Final Submissions in the form specified in each Competition by the time specified by the said Competition.
5.The Final Submissions as submitted shall be evaluated by the evaluation method as specified in each Competition and the final rank order shall be determined based on such evaluation.
6.Any Participant may, as a general rule, check the evaluation results of the Participant him/herself and each of the other Participants on the Site for the Submissions that may be evaluated quantitatively.
7.Participants shall be liable or otherwise responsible for their own Submissions, including their legality.
8.Participants shall not submit any Submissions that have no direct relationship to each Competition.
9.Unless otherwise provided for, Participants shall not directly communicate to, consult with, make a request to, solicit or take any other actions with the Host in respect of the matters related to a Competition during the period of the said Competition.
10.Any Participant who has uncertainty or questions about any Competition shall make sure to contact the Company or its designee through the procedures prescribed by the Company as posted on the Site.
11.The Company shall not be obligated to pay any remuneration or other consideration other than those prescribed in the following Article for any act of the Participants as prescribed in paragraphs hereof.

Article 3 Reward and Vesting of Rights

1.Unless otherwise provided for, any Participant shall satisfy the following requirements in order to be entitled to receive a reward in any Competition that offers a reward:

(1)To be a winner;
(2)To agree to transfer to the Host and the relevant transferee of rights in such Competition all transferable rights, such as copyrights, rights to obtain patents and know-how, etc. in and to all analysis and prediction results, reports, analysis and prediction model, algorithm, source code and documentations for the model reproducibility, etc., and the Submissions contained in the Final Submissions and Submissions for Final Judgment (including the rights as prescribed in Article 27 and Article 28 of the Copyright Act and the rights to obtain patents; hereinafter referred to as the "Rights");
(3)To agree that any relevant transferee of rights exclusively has the right to use the know-how contained in the Final Submissions and Submissions for Final Judgment for its own business and other purpose without any restriction;
(4)To agree not to exercise moral rights to the Rights against the relevant transferee of rights;
(5)To enter into an agreement for the transfer of the Rights with the relevant eligible transferee of rights, including the agreement to the matter in the preceding three (3) items and other reasonable provisions;
(6)To have the personal identity of such Participant verified by the Company.
(7)Not to breach any provision of these Terms and the Terms of Use.

2.Any Winner Candidate shall, after having received a notice from the Company that he/she is nominated as a winner candidate, submit the Submissions for Final Judgment on or before the designated date and communicate the matters requiring confirmation or response in relation to the Final Submissions and the Submissions for Final Judgment to the Company on or before the designated date, in accordance with the instructions of the Company. The Company shall carry out the final judgment based on such matters requiring confirmation or response. If the Company receives no confirmation or response satisfactory to the Company on or before the designated date, the Company may exclude such Winner Candidate from the subject of the final judgment.
3.If the Company considers that the Final Submissions or Submissions for Final Judgment need to be amended or modified, or there occur any additional matters requiring confirmation, in the course of the final judgment, any Winner Candidate shall take action or make response in relation to the matters that require amendment, etc. or the detailed information on the matters requiring confirmation, on or before the designated date in accordance with the instructions of the Company. If the Company receives no action or response satisfactory to the Company on or before the designated date, the Company may exclude such Winner Candidate from the final judgment.
4.The Company shall determine the Winner through the final judgment and inform the Winner to that effect.

Article 4 Confidentiality

1.Any Participant shall treat any information and data that they receive from the Company in relation to each Competition (hereinafter referred to as the "Company-Provided Information") as confidential information and shall not disclose the same to any third party and use the same for any purpose other than for such Competition and purpose specified by the Company separately; provided, however, that the confidential information shall not include any information that falls under any of the following items:

(1)Information that is known to the public at the time of the disclosure;
(2)Information that is already possessed by the Participant at the time of the disclosure (only in the case where such Participant may demonstrate such fact by reasonable means);
(3)Information that becomes known to the public without the fault of the Participant after the disclosure;
(4)Information that is independently developed by the Participant without reference to any information as disclosed (except for those Submissions of the person eligible for a prize which are evaluated); or
(5)Information that is rightfully disclosed by any third party having a right to do so without the obligations of confidentiality (only in the case where such Participant may demonstrate such fact by reasonable means).

2.Any Participant shall delete or return to the Company the Company-Provided Information immediately after the completion of each Competition.
3.Any Winner shall handle his/her Final Submissions and Submissions for Final Judgment in the same manner as prescribed in paragraph 1 hereof.
4.If there is any separate arrangement in relation to the confidential information in each Competition, the provisions of such arrangement shall prevail over the provisions of these Terms.
5.If any dispute occurs between the Host or other third party and the Company due to the breach by any Participant of the provisions of this Article and such other party makes any claim against the Company, such Participant shall compensate for any damage, loss, expenses (including, but not limited to, attorneys’ fees), lost profits and lost revenues, etc. incurred by the Company.
6.The provisions of this Article shall survive the termination of the relevant Competition or the Participant’s completion of the procedures for withdrawal from the service of the Company, with respect to the Company-Provided Information and the Winner’s Final Submissions and Submissions for Final Judgment for a period of five (5) years thereafter.

Article 5 Prohibited Acts of Participants

1.The Company shall prohibit Participants from engaging in any of the following acts in any Competition:

(1)An act of cracking, cheating, spoofing other misconduct;
(2)An act of directly communicating to, consulting with, making a request to, soliciting or responding to solicitation or other activities to other Participants or the Host (other than the Company) without the involvement of the Company;
(3)Any profitmaking activities using the Competition (including solicitation or scouting activities, and use for a third party in educational business, etc.) without the prior approval of the Company in writing or any other manner specified by the Company;
(4)Transfer, offering as collateral or other disposition of the status as a Participant or the rights or obligations as a Participant (except with the prior written consent of the Company); and
(5)Any other act in breach of the Terms of Use.

2.If the Company deems that a Participant engages in any of the prohibited acts as prescribed in the preceding paragraph, the Company may, without prior notice to the Participant, disqualify the Participant from the Competition in which the Participant participates, temporarily suspend the Participant from using the service of the Company, withdraw the Participant’s membership, claim damages from the Participant or take any other measures deemed necessary by the Company.

Article 6. Change, Discontinuation or Termination of Provision of Services under These Terms

1.The Company may change or temporarily suspend the services provided by the Company under these Terms without prior notice to the members.
2.Upon one (1) month prior notice to the members, the Company may suspend for a long period of time or terminate the services provided by the Company under these Terms.
3.The Company shall not be liable for any results or damage arising from the measures taken by the Company under this Article.

Article 7. Modification of Terms

1.The Company may modify, add or delete any provisions of these Terms from time to time without the approval of the members.

Enforced on April 1, 2018