Call for Participation:

IEEE Brain Data Bank Competition - Xi'an

7 July - 8 July, 2018

The IEEE Brain Initiative has sponsored several challenges and competitions during 2017 to analyse a range of brain/neuro datasets. The first IEEE Brain Data Bank (BDB) Challenge was held in June at St. Petersburg, as part of the IEEE SPCN 2017 Symposium ( Other challenges were held in Glasgow, Scotland, October 31, 2017, during the IEEE SENSORS Conference (, followed by the IEEE BDB Competition in Boston, USA, December 9, 2017 (

Following the success of BDB Challenges in 2017, there are new activities planned in 2018. Apart from last year’s global events, the BDB will be held for the first time in China in July 2018, in conjunction with the 9th International Brain-Inspired Cognitive Systems (BICS) Conference. You are cordially invited to participate in the Xi’an competition, and to exercise your curiosity and creativity to make sense of your chosen datasets (see details below for access).

Register Now for the Xi'an Competition ( (to be updated)

On-line/Remote Participation

WebEx will be set up for on-line participation in keynote, tutorials and final project presentations remotely.

  • Keynote, 10:00-12:00 GMT +8 (Xi’an)
  • Meeting URL:
  • Meeting number (access code): xxx
  • Project Presentation, 14:00-18:00 GMT +8 (Xi’an)
  • Meeting URL:
  • Meeting number (access code): xxx


  • N. Nan Chu, CWLab International and IEEE Brain Initiatives, USA
  • Jiangbin Zheng, Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xi'an, China
  • Jinchang Ren, University of Strathclyde, UK
  • Amir Hussain, University of Stirling, UK

Pre-event Webinar

A series of webinars will be scheduled to help participants prepare their final presentations:

  • Introduction, Tuesday, April 30, 3:30 Eastern Time.
  • Tutorial of Neurotechnology, May …
  • Tutorial of the UCSF dataset, June…

Slides and the webinar recording are available for download under “Documentation” on the IEEE Dataport competition page (

Date and Time

Final presentations and judging will take place on July 8th, 2018, from 9:45 AM to 4 PM local time. A tentative agenda will be made available in due course.


Terabytes of brain EEG data are available through open source, and collected from tests associated with human cognitive capability, stroke patient recovery, class learning ability, and other social environments, over a wide range of demographics. Some also play with stimulus such as audio, music, video, lights and digital games.

Figure 1 illustrates the data flow in brain signal data utilization. The 2017 IEEE BDB Challenges explored creative means to investigate previously collected brain data (circled in blue – right of Figure 1. This was in contrast to the 2016 Brain Initiative Hackathons, which had focused on the Brain Computer Interface (BCI – left of Figure 1, below).

The BDB Challenge

The aim of this challenge is to bring together a diverse group of individuals of varying backgrounds and experience to analyze, visualize, and evaluate complex datasets. Competitors will have access to a multi-modal dataset that will challenge individuals with varying academic backgrounds in data science, computer science, biology, or neuroscience. Results will be evaluated on the basis of analytic and visualization techniques used, the quality of final presentation and interpretation of findings.

In the BDB Challenges, teams and individuals are expected to creatively demonstrate value and usability potential of their selected open source dataset. Open source brain dataset includes, but are not limited to the following:

University of California – San Francisco, NeuroRacer brain signal datasets, Nature, The International Weekly Journal of Science, doi:10.1038/nature12486, p. 97- 101, continued with notes, p.1-28, 5 Sept., 2013. The UCSF datasets are available upon request on-line from the IEEE Dataport Competition page. This is the preferred dataset to be used.

All datasets to be used for the BDB Challenge must be anonymized.

It is highly recommended that you have selected your datasets and begun work on your projects, prior to the event date.The challenge is to create value and/or determine usability of brain signal data. The participants will present their projects in terms of:

  • Creation and/or selection criteria of the brain signal datasets
  • Clarity and relevance of analysis
  • Methodology
  • Interpretation of brain signal data
  • Significance of findings and recommendations
  • Delivery of findings and recommendations.

The above 6 aspects will form the basis of the judging criteria. Awards decisions made by the event Judges, will be final.


We recommend no more than 10 slides for your presentation. Please expect to have 10 minutes for your presentation and you will have an additional 5 minutes for judges to ask you questions.

We will accept recorded presentations if you are not able to attend. Please send your recording to the organizers. However, please note that we are not set up for remote participation. We will play your presentation to the judges, but they will not have an opportunity to ask you questions.


  • Data analysis including well-justified, innovative, and rigorous methodologies
  • Data visualization including novel, highly informative, and aesthetically appealing visualization techniques
  • Presentation and interpretation of findings including clear, informative delivery and compelling investigation and interpretation


There will be 3 awards given:

  • 1st place – $600.00
  • 2nd place – $400.00
  • 3rd place – $200.00

They will be judged based on the 3 categories described above: data analysis, data visualization, presentation and interpretation of findings.


  • Xi'an Guangcheng Hotel
  • South Laodong Road, Lianhu District
  • Xi'an, 710082

Please bring a form of ID (e.g., license) for admission. If you are not a Chinese citizen, you must bring your passport.