4 February 2015

The second Network Verification Challenge (NVC) is now open until April 2015.

The biological networks are available on the challenge website for further review and enhancement and best performers will be invited to a second Jamboree that is planned for 2015. The sbv IMPROVER Network Verification Challenge (NVC) aims to verify and enhance existing biological network models. The NVC is expected to increase the networks' value and promote their use in research applications such as drug discovery, personalized medicine and toxicological risk assessment.

Go to the challenge




How the challenge works

The NVC consists of five phases.

  1. In the first phase, network models are constructed based on the literature and data-driven hypothesis validation. The models are imported into a Web-based platform (CausalBioNet) for the second phase (online Crowd-verification).
  2. In phase 2, experts and biology students and researchers are encouraged to access and verify/enhance the network models directly on the platform. This process is set up as a reputation-based collaborative competition, where actions on the network are given points that are recorded in a leaderboard.
  3. After this online phase is closed, in phase 3, the results and actions are analyzed.
  4. The organizers select a number of edges that appeared to be the most controversial for discussion in a jamboree (phase 4) that will gather together scientific experts and the best contributors in the online phase.
  5. After a wrap up of the conclusions and actions on the network discussed during the jamboree, in phase 5, verified versions of the networks will be released for the scientific community at large to use.


About SBV Improver

sbv IMPROVER stands for Systems Biology Verification combined with Industrial Methodology for Process Verification in Research. This approach aims to provide a measure of quality control of industrial research and development by verifying the methods used. The sbv IMPROVER approach was initially developed by Philip Morris International (PMI) and IBM Research in 2011-2013 and is now a collaborative effort led and funded by PMI Research and Development. For more information please see Nature Biotechnology (2011) or Bioinformatics (2012).

It is different from other scientific crowdsourcing approaches as it focuses on the verification of processes in an industrial context, and not just on basic questions regarding science. The sbv IMPROVER approach allows an organization to benchmark its methods and industrial processes.