Computer software that could plan English football fixtures

Aug 06, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Can computers solve the logistical nightmare of planning English football fixtures?

Professor Graham Kendall from the School of Computer Science at The University of Nottingham believes they can. He has devised a special programme for the Christmas and New Year fixtures which automatically takes into account detailed criteria laid down by the football authorities and reduces travel distances for clubs and fans.

Graham Kendall, a professor in computer science, said: “The biggest difficulties occur at Christmas and New Year when the top clubs play at least twice over the holiday period. As well as coordinating 92 teams and 46 fixtures I have captured many other real world problems such as avoiding local derbies, ensuring that teams do not play each other twice over the Christmas period, and trying to limit the travel that has to be undertaken by the supporters.”

The software has been programmed to recognise a complex set of guidelines laid down by the football authorities for Christmas and New Year fixtures. These are aimed at easing the pressure on policing and the transport network.

The software has been designed to:

• Recognise local pairings so certain teams do not play at home on the same day — such as Manchester United and Manchester City, Liverpool and Everton and Chelsea and Fulham.

• Prevent paired teams playing each other over the holiday period.

• Ensure club plays at least one away match and one home match over Boxing Day and New Year's Day.

• Limit the number of London clubs playing at home on any one day.

• Limit the number of paired teams playing at home.

Professor Kendall is currently discussing his results with the Football League and now wants to extend this work to produce fixture lists for the entire season — incorporating a total of 2036 games. The only thing he cannot control is the weather.

Professor Kendall's work will be discussed at the 2009 MISTA (Multidisciplinary International Conference on Scheduling: Theory and Applications) Conference, which he chairs and organises. It will be the 4th conference in the series, which attracts experts in the theory and application of scheduling from all over the world.

More details can be found at www.mistaconference.org/2009/ .

Provided by University of Nottingham (news : web)

Explore further: Forging a photo is easy, but how do you spot a fake?

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Better baseball -- Choosing the champs

Jul 30, 2007

How many games does it take to ensure that the best team in a sports league ends up with the best record? According to a study by a pair of physicists at the Los Alamos national Laboratory in New Mexico, the answer is an ...

Research shows crowds do influence refs

May 25, 2006

New data released today, reveals that almost every football fan believes referees’ decisions are influenced by crowds, supporting scientific research by a leading academic, which will be discussed at the Science Museum’s ...

Football referees do favour home teams, study shows

Oct 30, 2006

Academics have proved what Premiership football managers have been complaining about for years – that referees are inconsistent and favour home teams. Analysing over 2,500 English Premiership matches, researchers discovered ...

Recommended for you

Forging a photo is easy, but how do you spot a fake?

Nov 21, 2014

Faking photographs is not a new phenomenon. The Cottingley Fairies seemed convincing to some in 1917, just as the images recently broadcast on Russian television, purporting to be satellite images showin ...

Algorithm, not live committee, performs author ranking

Nov 21, 2014

Thousands of authors' works enter the public domain each year, but only a small number of them end up being widely available. So how to choose the ones taking center-stage? And how well can a machine-learning ...

Professor proposes alternative to 'Turing Test'

Nov 19, 2014

(Phys.org) —A Georgia Tech professor is offering an alternative to the celebrated "Turing Test" to determine whether a machine or computer program exhibits human-level intelligence. The Turing Test - originally ...

Image descriptions from computers show gains

Nov 18, 2014

"Man in black shirt is playing guitar." "Man in blue wetsuit is surfing on wave." "Black and white dog jumps over bar." The picture captions were not written by humans but through software capable of accurately ...

Converting data into knowledge

Nov 17, 2014

When a movie-streaming service recommends a new film you might like, sometimes that recommendation becomes a new favorite; other times, the computer's suggestion really misses the mark. Yisong Yue, assistant ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.