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Who's #1?


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Table of Contents

Preface xiii Purpose xiii Audience xiii Prerequisites xiii Teaching from This Book xiv Acknowledgments xiv Chapter 1. Introduction to Ranking 1 Social Choice and Arrow's Impossibility Theorem 3 Arrow's Impossibility Theorem 4 Small Running Example 4 Chapter 2. Massey's Method 9 Initial Massey Rating Method 9 Massey's Main Idea 9 The Running Example Using the Massey Rating Method 11 Advanced Features of the Massey Rating Method 11 The Running Example: Advanced Massey Rating Method 12 Summary of the Massey Rating Method 13 Chapter 3. Colley's Method 21 The Running Example 23 Summary of the Colley Rating Method 24 Connection between Massey and Colley Methods 24 Chapter 4. Keener's Method 29 Strength and Rating Stipulations 29 Selecting Strength Attributes 29 Laplace's Rule of Succession 30 To Skew or Not to Skew? 31 Normalization 32 Chicken or Egg? 33 Ratings 33 Strength 33 The Keystone Equation 34 Constraints 35 Perron-Frobenius 36 Important Properties 37 Computing the Ratings Vector 37 Forcing Irreducibility and Primitivity 39 Summary 40 The 2009-2010 NFL Season 42 Jim Keener vs. Bill James 45 Back to the Future 48 Can Keener Make You Rich? 49 Conclusion 50 Chapter 5. Elo's System 53 Elegant Wisdom 55 The K-Factor 55 The Logistic Parameter ? 56 Constant Sums 56 Elo in the NFL 57 Hindsight Accuracy 58 Foresight Accuracy 59 Incorporating Game Scores 59 Hindsight and Foresight with ? = 1000, K = 32, H = 15 60 Using Variable K-Factors with NFL Scores 60 Hindsight and Foresight Using Scores and Variable K-Factors 62 Game-by-Game Analysis 62 Conclusion 64 Chapter 6. The Markov Method 67 The Markov Method 67 Voting with Losses 68 Losers Vote with Point Differentials 69 Winners and Losers Vote with Points 70 Beyond Game Scores 71 Handling Undefeated Teams 73 Summary of the Markov Rating Method 75 Connection between the Markov and Massey Methods 76 Chapter 7. The Offense-Defense Rating Method 79 OD Objective 79 OD Premise 79 But Which Comes First? 80 Alternating Refinement Process 81 The Divorce 81 Combining the OD Ratings 82 Our Recurring Example 82 Scoring vs. Yardage 83 The 2009-2010 NFL OD Ratings 84 Mathematical Analysis of the OD Method 87 Diagonals 88 Sinkhorn-Knopp 89 OD Matrices 89 The OD Ratings and Sinkhorn-Knopp 90 Cheating a Bit 91 Chapter 8. Ranking by Reordering Methods 97 Rank Differentials 98 The Running Example 99 Solving the Optimization Problem 101 The Relaxed Problem 103 An Evolutionary Approach 103 Advanced Rank-Differential Models 105 Summary of the Rank-Differential Method 106 Properties of the Rank-Differential Method 106 Rating Differentials 107 The Running Example 109 Solving the Reordering Problem 110 Summary of the Rating-Differential Method 111 Chapter 9. Point Spreads 113 What It Is (and Isn't) 113 The Vig (or Juice) 114 Why Not Just Offer Odds? 114 How Spread Betting Works 114 Beating the Spread 115 Over/Under Betting 115 Why Is It Difficult for Ratings to Predict Spreads? 116 Using Spreads to Build Ratings (to Predict Spreads?) 117 NFL 2009-2010 Spread Ratings 120 Some Shootouts 121 Other Pair-wise Comparisons 124 Conclusion 125 Chapter 10. User Preference Ratings 127 Direct Comparisons 129 Direct Comparisons, Preference Graphs, and Markov Chains 130 Centroids vs. Markov Chains 132 Conclusion 133 Chapter 11. Handling Ties 135 Input Ties vs. Output Ties 136 Incorporating Ties 136 The Colley Method 136 The Massey Method 137 The Markov Method 137 The OD, Keener, and Elo Methods 138 Theoretical Results from Perturbation Analysis 139 Results from Real Datasets 140 Ranking Movies 140 Ranking NHL Hockey Teams 141 Induced Ties 142 Summary 144 Chapter 12. Incorporating Weights 147 Four Basic Weighting Schemes 147 Weighted Massey 149 Weighted Colley 150 Weighted Keener 150 Weighted Elo 150 Weighted Markov 150 Weighted OD 151 Weighted Differential Methods 151 Chapter 13. "What If ..." Scenarios and Sensitivity 155 The Impact of a Rank-One Update 155 Sensitivity 156 Chapter 14. Rank Aggregation-Part 1 159 Arrow's Criteria Revisited 160 Rank-Aggregation Methods 163 Borda Count 165 Average Rank 166 Simulated Game Data 167 Graph Theory Method of Rank Aggregation 172 A Refinement Step after Rank Aggregation 175 Rating Aggregation 176 Producing Rating Vectors from Rating Aggregation-Matrices 178 Summary of Aggregation Methods 181 Chapter 15. Rank Aggregation-Part 2 183 The Running Example 185 Solving the BILP 186 Multiple Optimal Solutions for the BILP 187 The LP Relaxation of the BILP 188 Constraint Relaxation 190 Sensitivity Analysis 191 Bounding 191 Summary of the Rank-Aggregation (by Optimization) Method 193 Revisiting the Rating-Differential Method 194 Rating Differential vs. Rank Aggregation 194 The Running Example 196 Chapter 16. Methods of Comparison 201 Qualitative Deviation between Two Ranked Lists 201 Kendall's Tau 203 Kendall's Tau on Full Lists 204 Kendall's Tau on Partial Lists 205 Spearman's Weighted Footrule on Full Lists 206 Spearman's Weighted Footrule on Partial Lists 207 Partial Lists of Varying Length 210 Yardsticks: Comparing to a Known Standard 211 Yardsticks: Comparing to an Aggregated List 211 Retroactive Scoring 212 Future Predictions 212 Learning Curve 214 Distance to Hillside Form 214 Chapter 17. Data 217 Massey's Sports Data Server 217 Pomeroy's College Basketball Data 218 Scraping Your Own Data 218 Creating Pair-wise Comparison Matrices 220 Chapter 18. Epilogue 223 Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) 223 The Redmond Method 223 The Park-Newman Method 224 Logistic Regression/Markov Chain Method (LRMC) 224 Hochbaum Methods 224 Monte Carlo Simulations 224 Hard Core Statistical Analysis 225 And So Many Others 225 Glossary 231 Bibliography 235 Index 241

About the Author

Amy N. Langville is associate professor of mathematics at the College of Charleston. Carl D. Meyer is professor of mathematics at North Carolina State University. They are the authors of Google's PageRank and Beyond: The Science of Search Engine Rankings (Princeton).


"[A] thorough exploration of the methods and applications of ranking for an audience ranging from computer scientists and engineers to high-school teachers to 'people interested in wagering on just about anything'."--Nature Physics "Who's #1 provides a fascinating tour through the world of rankings and is highly recommended."--Richard J. Wilders, MAA Reviews "[T]he book ... provide[s] an excellent, accessible, and stimulating discussion of the material it does cover. Overall, the book makes a valuable addition to the canon of rating and ranking."--David J. Hand, Journal of Applied Statistics "This book provides an interesting overview of ranking various sports teams, chess players, politicians, and the like in real-life circumstances, which typically involve serious constraints on the time available to find the optimal ranking."--Choice "The book could be used to supplement a course on linear algebra and/or numerical linear algebra... The book could also be used as the basis for a short topics course or undergraduate research project on ranking, or it could be used in a modeling class as an example of how mathematical modeling is done. In addition to describing the mathematics of ranking, the book is full of interesting tidbits that add to the pleasure of its reading."--James Keener, SIAM Review "When I started this book I knew very little about American football. I was little the wiser after finishing it, but I had an excellent understanding of various methods used in the obtaining of the ranking of teams and their interrelationships. Langville and Meyer are to be commended for this collection, and anyone who is more conversant with North American sports than I am will most certainly be stimulated by reading Who's #1?"--Andrew I. Dale, Notices of the AMS "Readers will find many interesting ideas as they grapple with the complexities of the science of rating and ranking."--Bob Horton, Mathematics Teacher "[T]his book is a call to consciousness on the relevance of rating and ranking as well as an enjoyable start-up guide from the point of view of algebraic methods."--Francisco Grimaldo Moreno, JASSS "This book is a great introduction to the field (including its constituent parts in linear algebra and data mining) and contains enough depth to be used as a supplemental book in a data mining course or as a jumping off point for an interested researcher... Overall this is a very nice, well written book that could be use in multiple ways by a wide variety of audiences."--Nicholas Mattei, SigAct News "The profit the scientometrics community can gain from this book is an indirect one: an attitude how to compile a systematic collection of potential methods, how to select carefully using theoretical tests and empirical examples and how to combine methods to get a comprehensive, multidimensional rating and ranking system. In this sense, it is a highly recommended reading for all readers of the journal Scientometrics."--Andras Schubert, Scientometrics "This book is an excellent read for everyone; readers might be sports enthusiasts, social choice theorists, mathematicians, computer scientists, engineers, and college and high school teachers. Teachers will find quite an easy way to extract material for a short module."--Valentina Dagiene, Zentralblatt MATH

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