The name says it all. HCL Hackathon that united technologists (learners & veterans, both) from all across the globe! Here is an account of one such experience shared by students of Dayananda Sagar College of Engineering, Bangalore, India.

One of the leading Tech Giants, HCL Technologies, had invited the modern day innovators, to tackle real problems posed by the world’s biggest brands. Mentored by business leaders, they collaborated with technology communities to build solutions that will propel their organisations to the 21st Century.

The problems were posed under six themes, out of which we worked under Artificial Intelligence.

This was a global Hackathon, where 13,351 people from all across the world participated. There was no age limit and people working in various technology domains were eligible to apply. From students to experienced CEOs, anyone could participate.

The Hackathon consisted of three rounds, namely, Idea submission, Prototype submission and The Finale. And we are happy to say that we, Team Zenith_Coders, pursuing B.E. (Computer Science), currently studying in 5th semester, Dayananda Sagar College of Engineering, got selected as the 16th team among the top 36 in the Final round conducted at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, United Kingdom.

Problem Statement

As previously said, we selected the theme Artificial Intelligence (AI), where we were asked to develop Lead Agent’s Dashboard, incorporating AI technology for the leading finance company IPF.

Here the performance analysis of every metric of each agent working under the Lead Agent is powered by AI. The Lead Agent receives warning (notification) in case of any down trend in the performance. Then the necessary course of action can be taken by the Lead Agent in order to improve the agent-centric or the Overall performance.

Solution

We developed a web application which displays the intricate details of each and every metric of every agent working under the lead-agent, as graphical representation provides better insight and understanding.

We also enabled the feature of comparing two or more agents which helps the lead agent to analyse the working trend of his subordinates. The lead agent can also set some Goals for himself, where he can track his own individual performance and push a little to do much better every next time. This helps in boosting up spirits positively, in the drive to achieve something more everytime.

Technology

We have used Angular4 as an integral medium for our frontend services.We have a custom built Python Script which acts as the backend for our web application. Along with HTML and CSS, we have incorporated Google’s Material design and Material Design Lite, in order to enhance the User-Experience of our app. In order to facilitate the user interaction with the software we have also enabled the Drag and Drop feature powered by Dracula. The sample data given to us was an Excel file, incorporated with all the credentials of the agents and metrics working under the Lead Agent.

Hosting

We have hosted the data on pythonanywhere website and it is an integral part of our backend. We have custom-built a python script which converts all the given data into json script which is further hosted onto the website. We have self-developed an algorithm keeping in mind all the test-cases and constraints that need to be satisfied according to the scenario.

Application of AI

Since the data provided to us was very limited, it is built on the basis of unsupervised learning for performance analysis. The constraints defined changes dynamically with the change in the given data. We are also trying to predict the future values in our webapp with the help of one of the most efficient algorithms, RBF (Radial Basic Function network).

Speaking about RBF, it is an artificial neural network algorithm which uses the input of radial basis functions as activation functions. The output of the network is a linear combination of radial basis function. Radial basis function networks have many uses, including function approximation, time series prediction, classification, and system control.

Personal Experience

This was our first flight journey and our first international travel. We enjoyed the flight journey, especially the journey from Frankfurt to Manchester. We got to see the entire city view. We got our accommodation at Hatters Hostel, Manchester. The first day was off. So we had chance to roam around within the city. We had been to Manchester Arndale, the largest shopping centre in Manchester.

The next day, they took us to the Hackathon site i.e., the Old Trafford Stadium, which is the Theatre of Dreams. That is probably where many of our dreams came true.
They showed every inch of the stadium, including the dressing room of the Manchester United team. And finally they took us to the Manchester Suite where our Hackathon was scheduled. It had Presentation site, Hackathon site and also play area with Table tennis, Snooker, and video games for recreation.

In this global hackathon, we got chance to meet business heads of Formula-E, Sasol, DHL, IPF and many other international companies. We had a great time interacting with them. We got a lot of inputs, not only with respect to our project, but also about the industrial environment, presentation techniques, building a project and a lot of other things. Their sense of humour, friendly nature made us feel elite.

The panel of jury consisted of top and leading executives from the Fortune 500 companies. We had our best days at United by HCL hackathon. The insights shared by them really provoked us to think out of the box.

Their perceptions and considerations really filled us with all the positive vibes bringing us the sense of responsibility towards the society.

We are very thankful to HCL Technologies for giving us a wonderful opportunity like this. We thank Manchester United for treating us so well at the Hackathon site.

We whole heartedly thank our institution, DayanandaSagar College of Engineering for supporting us. We are very thankful to Head of the Department (Computer Science), Ramesh Babu Sir for being our backbone and supporting us, Dr. Krishnan Sir for all his insights and thoughts, Vindhya ma’am for her extensive involvement and guidance, Rashmi ma’am and Poornima ma’am for being the pillars of strength and co-ordination.

We would also like to thank all our teachers and friends for being our support in all means.

Thank you,

Team Zenith_Coders: Lingesh S, Akshatha G V, Sparsh Kumar, Bipin D R

Krishnan Rangarajan

Dr. Krishnan Rangarajan is currently a Professor in Computer Science & Engineering in Dayananda Sagar College Of Engineering, Bangalore, where he leads a number of projects in Computer Vision and AI.