What is it about?

Sports matches can be decomposed into passages of play that are made up of sequences of events, which can be labeled, e.g., according to whether or not a team scored in the sequence. Sequential pattern mining methods can then identify the most important event subsequences for determining whether a team scores or not.

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Why is it important?

Identifying the most important parts of plays, through the use of sequential pattern mining, could provide valuable insights to coaches and sports performance analysts to identify strengths and weaknesses of themselves and opposition teams to improve outcomes.


The idea for this article originally came from the analysis of protein sequences to identify allergens, which can be identified as discriminative sub-sequences. Along with the supervisor of my previous laboratory, who had more expertise in bioinformatics, I transferred the application of this technique to the sports context. It also enabled me to gain a valuable contact in the sports analytics domain and to move my research in that direction.

Rory Bunker
Nagoya University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Supervised sequential pattern mining of event sequences in sport to identify important patterns of play: An application to rugby union, PLoS ONE, September 2021, PLOS, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0256329.
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