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Data Study Group Final Report: Spend Network

Data Study Group team

Data Study Groups are week-long events at The Alan Turing Institute bringing together some of the country’s top talent from data science, artificial intelligence, and wider fields, to analyse real-world data science challenges.

Spend Network: Automated matching of businesses to government contract opportunities

This report presents the output of a week-long collaboration between Spend Network, and lead academics from the University of Manchester and the University of Oxford that attended the Data Study Group at The Alan Turing Institute. Spend Network is a platform that aims to enable efficient public procure-ment. The goal of this work was to match suppliers to tenders. Our approach consists of building vector representations of suppli-ers and tenders and identifying their compat-ibility with the distance between the respec-tive vectors. In building their representations, we make use of both their textual descriptions and the knowledge of previously awarded con-tracts. We find previous contracts informative of future procurement decisions. Our best re-sults use Correlated Topic Models (Blei et al., 2007) for extracting representations of textual descriptions.

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