Yelp new challenge dataset

Yelp has been published new challenge dataset on February 9th.

Yelp Dataset Challenge is doubling up: Added 10 cities across 4 countries! 

The Challenge Dataset:

  • 1.6M reviews and 500K tips by 366K users for 61K businesses
  • 481K business attributes, e.g., hours, parking availability, ambience.
  • Social network of 366K users for a total of 2.9M social edges.
  • Aggregated check-ins over time for each of the 61K businesses


  • U.K.: Edinburgh
  • Germany: Karlsruhe
  • Canada: Montreal and Waterloo
  • U.S.: Pittsburgh, Charlotte, Urbana-Champaign, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Madison

New challenge questions

Cultural Trends: By adding a diverse set of cities, we want participants to compare and contrast what makes a particular city different. For example, are people in international cities less concerned about driving in to a business, indicated by their lack of mention about parking? What cuisines are Yelpers raving about in these different countries? Do Americans tend to eat out late compared to the Germans and English? In which countries are Yelpers sticklers for service quality? In international cities such as Montreal, are French speakers reviewing places differently than English speakers?

Location Mining & Urban Planning: How much of a business’ success is really just location, location, location? Do you see reviewers’ behavior change when they travel?

Seasonal Trends: What about seasonal effects: Are HVAC contractors being reviewed just at onset of winter, and manicure salons at onset of summer? Are there more reviews for sports bars on major game days and if so, could you predict that?

Infer Categories: Do you see any non-intuitive correlations between business categories e.g., how many karaoke bars also offer Korean food, and vice versa? What businesses deserve their own subcategory (i.e., Szechuan or Hunan versus just “Chinese restaurants”), and can you learn this from the review text?

Natural Language Processing (NLP): How well can you guess a review’s rating from its text alone? What are the most common positive and negative words used in our reviews? Are Yelpers a sarcastic bunch? And what kinds of correlations do you see between tips and reviews: could you extract tips from reviews?

Predict Attributes: Can you correlate our reviews with business attributes and predict whether a business is good for kids? Has Wi-Fi? Has Parking?

Notes on dataset

  • Take a look at
  • Notice: new data type called “tip”. A tip on Yelp is general review for business, regarding the area. You can leave a “tip” for other people in the area of business you are leaving tip for. A Yelp tip is different with “review” because a review is specific to the location, time that you are reviewing. A review is useful for another person who is interested in the conditions that you are reviewing.


    'type': 'business',
    'business_id': (encrypted business id),
    'name': (business name),
    'neighborhoods': [(hood names)],
    'full_address': (localized address),
    'city': (city),
    'state': (state),
    'latitude': latitude,
    'longitude': longitude,
    'stars': (star rating, rounded to half-stars),
    'review_count': review count,
    'categories': [(localized category names)]
    'open': True / False (corresponds to closed, not business hours),
    'hours': {
        (day_of_week): {
            'open': (HH:MM),
            'close': (HH:MM)
    'attributes': {
        (attribute_name): (attribute_value),


    'type': 'review',
    'business_id': (encrypted business id),
    'user_id': (encrypted user id),
    'stars': (star rating, rounded to half-stars),
    'text': (review text),
    'date': (date, formatted like '2012-03-14'),
    'votes': {(vote type): (count)},


    'type': 'user',
    'user_id': (encrypted user id),
    'name': (first name),
    'review_count': (review count),
    'average_stars': (floating point average, like 4.31),
    'votes': {(vote type): (count)},
    'friends': [(friend user_ids)],
    'elite': [(years_elite)],
    'yelping_since': (date, formatted like '2012-03'),
    'compliments': {
        (compliment_type): (num_compliments_of_this_type),
    'fans': (num_fans),


    'type': 'checkin',
    'business_id': (encrypted business id),
    'checkin_info': {
        '0-0': (number of checkins from 00:00 to 01:00 on all Sundays),
        '1-0': (number of checkins from 01:00 to 02:00 on all Sundays),
        '14-4': (number of checkins from 14:00 to 15:00 on all Thursdays),
        '23-6': (number of checkins from 23:00 to 00:00 on all Saturdays)
    }, # if there was no checkin for a hour-day block it will not be in the dict


    'type': 'tip',
    'text': (tip text),
    'business_id': (encrypted business id),
    'user_id': (encrypted user id),
    'date': (date, formatted like '2012-03-14'),
    'likes': (count),

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