Algorithms identifying Strategies and TrendsFriday, July 6th, 2012 by Antonio Manzalini
Imagine to think of each player of a football team as a node in a network and each pass as an edge that connects nodes.
You have a weighted and directed network!
A direct visual inspection allows identifying play pattern, determining hot-spots on the play and localizing potential weaknesses. Using different centrality measures, we can also determine the relative importance of each player in the game, the ‘popularity’ of a player, and the effect of removing players from the game. This is what Departments of Mathematics of University College London and Queen Mary University of London have done recently (paper).
This is a nice example how network algorithms and analysis may help in identifying strategies.
What about applying it in battle scenario ? Or in a finantial market ?
Let’s see another example. Berlin Institute of Technology and Karlsruhe Institute of Technology have elaborated a simple and efficient method for finding trends dominating a pool of web sources and identifying those web sources that publish the information relevant to a trend before others (paper). Approach has been to take a snapshot of the words generated by a group of websites at any instant in time and compare it to the words generated by one of these websites at an earlier time. This allows them to calculate whether the content of a single website is a trend setter. Then they have ranked the websites according to this metric.
What’s interesting is that these algorithms and others will have wider application: for example identifying the first victims of an epidemic spreading the disease, the match or lightning strike that triggers a forest fire or the fashionistas that set clothing trends … or services adoptions, or the most influential people starting a viral distribution of data and information.
Tags: Network Mathematics