Sorry for a confusing title. I am looking for a word to describe the following situation: "our algorithm showed an accuracy worse than [other best algorithm developed by competitors]".

I do not want to use just "than other competitors", because in this way it means that there are a lot of other algorithms that are better than ours. What I want to explain is that the best state of the art algorithms are actually better than ours.

Is there a word or a phrase which conveys this meaning?

closed as primarily opinion-based by FumbleFingers, Robusto, Chenmunka, user66974, tchrist Oct 20 '14 at 2:28

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    worth -> worse – Armen Ծիրունյան Oct 18 '14 at 10:26
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    So basically you want to say that your algorithm is worse than a lot of other algorithms out there, but you don't want to say that your algorithm is worse than a lot of other algorithms out there? :) – Armen Ծիրունյան Oct 18 '14 at 10:27
  • @ArmenԾիրունյան Yes, I want to say, that the algorithm is not bad (it shows good results), but if you compare it to the state of the art algorithms, they are better. – Salvador Dali Oct 18 '14 at 10:30
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    You could say that the algorithm is "competitive" in terms of accuracy. This would suggest that better methods exist, but at the same time say that it is still quite good compared to other methods. – painfulenglish Oct 18 '14 at 11:10
  • You've already said it "state of the art". Our algo is not quite as fast as state of the art. – Fattie Oct 18 '14 at 12:55

Original answer: How about: "only surpassed by/surpassed only by/surpassed by only" ?

Our algorithm showed accuracy that was only surpassed by/surpassed only by/surpassed

by only ... .

Edited to insert, perhaps suitable*, ellipted text (and/or some random babbling):

Our algorithm showed accuracy that was only surpassed by/surpassed only by/surpassed

by only our top competitor's(s') most recently developed algorithm(s).

*Of course, if the best algorithm(s) of your competitor(s) is/are not their most recently developed one(s), you couldn't/shouldn't use this, but if so, it might be a way to get around flatly admitting that yours is/are not state-of-the-art.

I'm pretty sure that the purpose of your inquiry was to find a way to reduce the negativity associated with being worse, however slightly, than "the best" in the marketing of your algorithm(s), and my answer is based on that premise. However, if you're looking for something to include in a letter of resignation from the less-than-the-best company or in an application for a job (as anything but an algorithm developer!) with the best-of-the-best one: "I'm resigning/applying because I'm tired of working for a company that accepts second-best," for example, then you wouldn't want to reduce the negativity and you might even want to emphasize it.


It looks like they are trying to say one of two things.


"Our algorithm showed accuracy that was worse than the best-in-class alternatives."

~Or, you could change the emphasis of the sentence to be less focused on the negative and more focused on the comparision.

In side-by-side testing, our competitor's state of the art algorithms accuracy outperformed ours.


If your algorithm's accuracy is inferior but not by orders of magnitude, just slightly less, you could also say:

Our algorithm approaches state-of-the-art for accuracy (but costs much less, perhaps).

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