Who Will Win It? An In-game Win Probability Model for Football Machine Learning

In-game win probability is a statistical metric that provides a sports team's likelihood of winning at any given point in a game, based on the performance of historical teams in the same situation. In-game win-probability models have been extensively studied in baseball, basketball and American football. These models serve as a tool to enhance the fan experience, evaluate in game-decision making and measure the risk-reward balance for coaching decisions. In contrast, they have received less attention in association football, because its low-scoring nature makes it far more challenging to analyze. In this paper, we build an in-game win probability model for football. Specifically, we first show that porting existing approaches, both in terms of the predictive models employed and the features considered, does not yield good in-game win-probability estimates for football. Second, we introduce our own Bayesian statistical model that utilizes a set of eight variables to predict the running win, tie and loss probabilities for the home team. We train our model using event data from the last four seasons of the major European football competitions. Our results indicate that our model provides well-calibrated probabilities. Finally, we elaborate on two use cases for our win probability metric: enhancing the fan experience and evaluating performance in crucial situations.

Latent Channel Networks Machine Learning

Latent Euclidean embedding models a given network by representing each node in a Euclidean space, where the probability of two nodes sharing an edge is a function of the distances between the nodes. This implies that for two nodes to share an edge with high probability, they must be relatively close in all dimensions. This constraint may be overly restrictive for describing modern networks, in which having similarities in at least one area may be sufficient for having a high edge probability. We introduce a new model, which we call Latent Channel Networks, which allows for such features of a network. We present an EM algorithm for fitting the model, for which the computational complexity is linear in the number of edges and number of channels and apply the algorithm to both synthetic and classic network datasets.

FaRM: Fair Reward Mechanism for Information Aggregation in Spontaneous Localized Settings (Extended Version) Artificial Intelligence

Although peer prediction markets are widely used in crowdsourcing to aggregate information from agents, they often fail to reward the participating agents equitably. Honest agents can be wrongly penalized if randomly paired with dishonest ones. In this work, we introduce \emph{selective} and \emph{cumulative} fairness. We characterize a mechanism as fair if it satisfies both notions and present FaRM, a representative mechanism we designed. FaRM is a Nash incentive mechanism that focuses on information aggregation for spontaneous local activities which are accessible to a limited number of agents without assuming any prior knowledge of the event. All the agents in the vicinity observe the same information. FaRM uses \textit{(i)} a \emph{report strength score} to remove the risk of random pairing with dishonest reporters, \textit{(ii)} a \emph{consistency score} to measure an agent's history of accurate reports and distinguish valuable reports, \textit{(iii)} a \emph{reliability score} to estimate the probability of an agent to collude with nearby agents and prevents agents from getting swayed, and \textit{(iv)} a \emph{location robustness score} to filter agents who try to participate without being present in the considered setting. Together, report strength, consistency, and reliability represent a fair reward given to agents based on their reports.

Hybrid Machine Learning Forecasts for the FIFA Women's World Cup 2019 Machine Learning

In this work, we combine two different ranking methods together with several other predictors in a joint random forest approach for the scores of soccer matches. The first ranking method is based on the bookmaker consensus, the second ranking method estimates adequate ability parameters that reflect the current strength of the teams best. The proposed combined approach is then applied to the data from the two previous FIFA Women's World Cups 2011 and 2015. Finally, based on the resulting estimates, the FIFA Women's World Cup 2019 is simulated repeatedly and winning probabilities are obtained for all teams. The model clearly favors the defending champion USA before the host France.

Prediction and optimization of mechanical properties of composites using convolutional neural networks Machine Learning

In this paper, we develop a convolutional neural network model to predict the mechanical properties of a two-dimensional checkerboard composite quantitatively. The checkerboard composite possesses two phases, one phase is soft and ductile while the other is stiff and brittle. The ground-truth data used in the training process are obtained from finite element analyses under the assumption of plane stress. Monte Carlo simulations and central limit theorem are used to find the size of the dataset needed. Once the training process is completed, the developed model is validated using data unseen during training. The developed neural network model captures the stiffness, strength, and toughness of checkerboard composites with high accuracy. Also, we integrate the developed model with a genetic algorithm (GA) optimizer to identify the optimal microstructural designs. The genetic algorithm optimizer adopted here has several operators, selection, crossover, mutation, and elitism. The optimizer converges to configurations with highly enhanced properties. For the case of the modulus and starting from randomly-initialized generation, the GA optimizer converges to the global maximum which involves no soft elements. Also, the GA optimizers, when used to maximize strength and toughness, tend towards having soft elements in the region next to the crack tip.

Let the robots mark and the teachers teach


Like most other teachers, I joined the profession to improve the world. But the job I loved so much eventually exhausted me: and like so many others, I left. I was tired of the laborious paperwork (too often solely for the benefit of inspectors). I was tired of having to give evidence for every judgement I made in ridiculous detail. I was tired of flagging up children who needed further support for it to never materialise.

SAI: a Sensible Artificial Intelligence that plays with handicap and targets high scores in 9x9 Go (extended version) Artificial Intelligence

We develop a new model that can be applied to any perfect information two-player zero-sum game to target a high score, and thus a perfect play. We integrate this model into the Monte Carlo tree search-policy iteration learning pipeline introduced by Google DeepMind with AlphaGo. Training this model on 9x9 Go produces a superhuman Go player, thus proving that it is stable and robust. We show that this model can be used to effectively play with both positional and score handicap. We develop a family of agents that can target high scores against any opponent, and recover from very severe disadvantage against weak opponents. To the best of our knowledge, these are the first effective achievements in this direction.

Learning Policies from Human Data for Skat Artificial Intelligence

Decision-making in large imperfect information games is difficult. Thanks to recent success in Poker, Counterfactual Regret Minimization (CFR) methods have been at the forefront of research in these games. However, most of the success in large games comes with the use of a forward model and powerful state abstractions. In trick-taking card games like Bridge or Skat, large information sets and an inability to advance the simulation without fully determinizing the state make forward search problematic. Furthermore, state abstractions can be especially difficult to construct because the precise holdings of each player directly impact move values. In this paper we explore learning model-free policies for Skat from human game data using deep neural networks (DNN). We produce a new state-of-the-art system for bidding and game declaration by introducing methods to a) directly vary the aggressiveness of the bidder and b) declare games based on expected value while mitigating issues with rarely observed state-action pairs. Although cardplay policies learned through imitation are slightly weaker than the current best search-based method, they run orders of magnitude faster. We also explore how these policies could be learned directly from experience in a reinforcement learning setting and discuss the value of incorporating human data for this task.

Ensemble Decision Systems for General Video Game Playing Artificial Intelligence

Ensemble Decision Systems offer a unique form of decision making that allows a collection of algorithms to reason together about a problem. Each individual algorithm has its own inherent strengths and weaknesses, and often it is difficult to overcome the weaknesses while retaining the strengths. Instead of altering the properties of the algorithm, the Ensemble Decision System augments the performance with other algorithms that have complementing strengths. This work outlines different options for building an Ensemble Decision System as well as providing analysis on its performance compared to the individual components of the system with interesting results, showing an increase in the generality of the algorithms without significantly impeding performance.

On Memorial Day weekend, return to video games you've put aside recently

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Tech columnist Marc Saltzman suggests some accessories to improve mobile gaming including controllers, battery boosters and wireless headphones. Memorial Day is a day to remember those in the military who have died serving our country. The three-day weekend also unofficially marks the start of summer, which for many means barbecues or parties – or catching up with some recent video game releases you've had to put aside in recent weeks. Our choices include "Overwatch," which celebrates its third anniversary, "Days Gone," the PlayStation thriller released last month, and "The Division 2," a massive action game out in March. Three years in, Blizzard Entertainment's hero-centric first-person shooter continues to thrive.