• M⁴ Competition

    An open forecasting competition for individuals, teams and institutions to participate.
  • M⁴ Challenges

    Apart from point forecasts, participants are encouraged to submit prediction intervals for their forecasts
  • M⁴ Prizes

    There will be a minimum of €20,000 of prize money for the winners, to be increased as sponsors are added.



The M4-Competition is the continuation of three previous ones organized by Spyros Makridakis (known as the Makridakis or M-Competitions) whose purpose was to identify the most accurate forecasting method(s) for different types of predictions. These competitions have attracted a great interest in both the academic literature and among practitioners and have provided objective evidence of the most appropriate way of forecasting various variables of interest. The purpose of the M4-Competition is to replicate the results of the previous three ones and extend them into two directions. First increasing the number of series to 100,000, and second including Machine Learning (Neural Network) forecasting method.



The Dataset

Deadlines & Evaluation

The Extras

Reproducibility of Results


Start, End, Results


Competition Prizes


There will be six Prizes awarded to the winners of the M4 Competition. The exact cash amounts to be granted (at present standing at 27,000€) will depend on securing additional sponsors, announced later. Currently, the total amount will be distributed as follows: Prize Description Amount 1st Prize Best performing method according to OWA 9,000€ 2nd Prize Second-best performing method according…

Awards Ceremony

The winners will be awarded at a ceremony at the University of Nicosia in October 2018



The University of Nicosia (UNIC)

UNIC is the largest university in Cyprus, with more than 11,000 students from over 70 countries across the globe, studying together in an innovative and transformative learning space. UNIC is located in Nicosia, the country’s capital, and has a presence in 18 other cities worldwide. It is driven by the pursuit of excellence in teaching and learning, innovation, research, technology, and a continually evolving academic environment. It is empowering its students, instilling in them the confidence to make an impact in the world. UNIC is the co-organizer of the M4-Competition through its Institute for the Future (IFF) that is involved with advancing new technologies such as Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Makridakis Competitions

Forecasting accuracy is a critical factor for, among other things, reducing costs and providing better customer service. Yet the knowledge and experience available for improving such accuracy for specific situations is not always utilized. The consequence is actual and/or opportunity losses, sometimes of considerable magnitude. Empirical studies in the field of forecasting have compared the post-sample forecasting accuracy of various methods so that their performance can be determined in an objective, measurable manner. The M-Competitions are such empirical studies that have compared the performance of a large number of major time series methods using recognized experts who provide the forecasts for their method of expertise. Once the forecasts from each expert have been obtained they are evaluated and compared with those of the other experts as well as with some simple methods used as benchmarks. Forecasting competitions assure objectivity while also guaranteeing expert knowledge.

Forecasting & Strategy Unit (FSU)

The Forecasting and Strategy Unit is part of the Decision and Administration Systems Laboratory and represents an active part of the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering of the National Technical University of Athens, providing expertise and training opportunities to future engineers, in this field of rapid technological developments. The Unit consists of faculty members, postdoctoral and doctoral researchers who are involved undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the Department conducting high-level research activities for projects funded by National and European Union grands. In recent years, FSU has produced numerous theses and dissertations that cover all areas of forecasting, including the development of the innovative THETA forecasting model, a method advanced by the Unit during the 1998 that is being used extensively by both academic institutions and businesses. The FSU is a co-organizer of the M4-Competition.

Contact Us


M⁴ Competition

Professor Spyros Makridakis

University of Nicosia

P.O. Box 24005, CY-1700 Nicosia, Cyprus

+357 22 841948


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