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Modeling outcomes of soccer matches

Tsokos, A; Narayanan, S; Kosmidis, I; Baio, G; Cucuringu, M; Whitaker, G; Király, F; (2019) Modeling outcomes of soccer matches. Machine Learning , 108 (1) pp. 77-95. 10.1007/s10994-018-5741-1. Green open access

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Abstract

We compare various extensions of the Bradley–Terry model and a hierarchical Poisson log-linear model in terms of their performance in predicting the outcome of soccer matches (win, draw, or loss). The parameters of the Bradley–Terry extensions are estimated by maximizing the log-likelihood, or an appropriately penalized version of it, while the posterior densities of the parameters of the hierarchical Poisson log-linear model are approximated using integrated nested Laplace approximations. The prediction performance of the various modeling approaches is assessed using a novel, context-specific framework for temporal validation that is found to deliver accurate estimates of the test error. The direct modeling of outcomes via the various Bradley–Terry extensions and the modeling of match scores using the hierarchical Poisson log-linear model demonstrate similar behavior in terms of predictive performance.

Type: Article
Title: Modeling outcomes of soccer matches
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s10994-018-5741-1
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10994-018-5741-1
Language: English
Additional information: © The Author(s) 2018. Open Access: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Bradley–Terry model; Poisson log-linear hierarchical model; Maximum penalized likelihood; Integrated nested laplace approximation; Temporal validation
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Statistical Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10056079
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