help Santa solve this bin packing problem

Kaggle is sponsoring a non-denominational Christmas optimization contest to help Santa solve a 3-dimensional bin packing problem [Link].

This year we’re attacking the classic bin packing problem with a twist: cram all the gifts into his sleigh, but in the order they need to be delivered! MathWorks is sponsoring the $10,000 prizes — with $4000 going to both the holder of the top spot, and also the highest-ranked team using 100% MATLAB/MathWorks as their tool. The final $2000 is the Rudolph Prize: Rudolph, won’t you lead-our-board tonight? No word yet on whether the prize pool will include an optimally-stuffed reindeer.

The problem seeks to find an optimal ordering of Christmas presents in a single 3-dimensional bin. Packages have a size in each of the three dimensions, and they can be rotated to fit into the bin. The objective is to minimize the highest placed present in the bin. The contest ends at 11:59 pm, Sunday 26 January 2014 UTC.

Santa packs a bin full of presents

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