Technology / February 21, 2019
What if Eden Hazard attacks today instead of winging in the midfield?
What if the Indian team places Ravindra Jadeja at short mid-off instead of a short third man?
What if Steve Smith bats at number 5 in the Ashes 2019 instead of number 3?
When it comes to statistics in sports, “What if?” is a question that occupies minds, of commentators, team managers, and sports fans alike. Be it Robert Martinez’s strange tactics in FIFA 2018 or the Indian test team picking Kuldeep Yadav at the Lord’s against England, people in opposing opinions remain convinced in their own alternate realities.
So how do you help everyone arrive at the right consensus? You evaluate alternate possibilities.
In our previous edition of #DataTalks with Dream11, Prof. Vishal Misra discussed how Robust Synthetic Control can help us derive actionable inferences in virtual simulations without having to conduct actual experiments. In this year’s first web session on #DataTalks, we use multi-dimensional Robust Synthetic Control (mRSC) to go a step further: create a synthetic version of reality, and explore its evolution in time as a counterfactual to the actual reality.
And you are guessing it right: with mRSC, we can predict cricket results before the first innings is complete. We utilize the twin metrics of runs and wickets, and cast it as an mRSC problem that enables us to predict the evolution of an innings with very little data. More importantly, we can learn the final score of of a cricket batting innings in the first few overs itself.
We can also use it to endlessly speculate ‘What if’ Anil Kumble continued as Team India’s head coach (Or maybe not).
To know more, sign up to the web session of #DataTalks here, live from the Dream11 stadium on 7th March, 2019.
Vishal Misra is a Professor in the Department of Computer Science at Columbia University, with a joint appointment in the Electrical Engineering Department and also a visiting scientist at Google. He is an ACM and IEEE Fellow and his research emphasis is on mathematical modeling of systems, bridging the gap between practice and analysis.
He is also credited with inventing live-microblogging at CricInfo, a company he co-founded while a graduate student at UMass Amherst, predating Twitter by 10 years. He also played an active part in the Net Neutrality regulation process in India, where his definition of Net Neutrality was adopted both by the citizen’s movement as well as the regulators.
He has been awarded a Distinguished Alumnus Award by IIT Bombay (2019) and a Distinguished Young Alumnus Award by UMass-Amherst College of Engineering (2014).