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  • Name

    Tiago Mendes Neves
  • Cluster

    Computer Science
  • Role

    Research Assistant
  • Since

    01st September 2019


A Data-Driven Simulator for Assessing Decision-Making in Soccer

Mendes-Neves, T; Mendes-Moreira, J; Rossetti, RJF;


Decision-making is one of the crucial factors in soccer (association football). The current focus is on analyzing data sets rather than posing “what if” questions about the game. We propose simulation-based methods that allow us to answer these questions. To avoid simulating complex human physics and ball interactions, we use data to build machine learning models that form the basis of an event-based soccer simulator. This simulator is compatible with the OpenAI GYM API. We introduce tools that allow us to explore and gather insights about soccer, like (1) calculating the risk/reward ratios for sequences of actions, (2) manually defining playing criteria, and (3) discovering strategies through Reinforcement Learning. © 2021, Springer Nature Switzerland AG.


Comparing State-of-the-Art Neural Network Ensemble Methods in Soccer Predictions

Neves, TM; Moreira, JM;

Foundations of Intelligent Systems - 25th International Symposium, ISMIS 2020, Graz, Austria, September 23-25, 2020, Proceedings

For many reasons, including sports being one of the main forms of entertainment in the world, online gambling is growing. And in growing markets, opportunities to explore it arise. In this paper, neural network ensemble approaches, such as bagging, random subspace sampling, negative correlation learning and the simple averaging of predictions, are compared. For each one of these methods, several combinations of input parameters are evaluated. We used only the expected goals metric as predictors since it is able to have good predictive power while keeping the computational demands low. These models are compared in the soccer (also known as association football) betting context where we have access to metrics, such as rentability, to analyze the results in multiple perspectives. The results show that the optimal solution is goal-dependent, with the ensemble methods being able to increase the accuracy up to +3 % over the best single model. The biggest improvement over the single model was obtained by averaging dropout networks. © 2020, Springer Nature Switzerland AG.