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Blog by sports coach UK’s Research Manager John McIlroy
When I first heard that Disney Research existed I imagined they would be testing some of the most essential questions like whether elephants can actually fly. However my facetious attitude changed when I looked into what they actually do and discovered an interesting sport video analysis project they were working on.
In sports were players constantly change role quickly throughout the game they found that focussing on, and analysing, the position rather than the individual was best for detecting tactics, strategy and style of play for a team. As they state in their research paper
As players constantly change roles during a match, we show that employing a “role-based” representation instead of one based on player “identity” can best exploit the playing structure.
At the heart of this approach is an attempt to make sense of data. You can collect lots of information on an individual but does it help understand team behaviour or have you collected so much information that you are stuck with that eternal problem of too much noise associated with having too much data.
This method reduces complex movements of individuals throughout a game to a more manageable ‘compact representation’ thus making it easier to understand what is going on.
The research uses all sorts of things I don’t understand like spatiotemporal modeling but what is perhaps most interesting is the idea behind it, that sometimes video analysis by position is better than by player.
If you want to read the research paper you can click HERE.
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