Bradley-Terry Modeling with Multiple Game Outcomes with Applications to College Hockey

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    • Abstract:
      The Bradley-Terry model has previously been used in both Bayesian and frequentist interpretations to evaluate the strengths of sports teams based on win-loss game results. It has also been extended to handle additional possible results such as ties. We implement a generalization which includes multiple possible outcomes such as wins or losses in regulation, overtime, or shootouts. A natural application is to ice hockey competitions such as international matches, European professional leagues, and NCAA hockey, all of which use a zero-sum point system which values overtime and shootout wins as 1/3 of a win, and overtime and shootout losses as 1/3 of a win. We incorporate this into the probability model, and evaluate the posterior distributions for the associated strength parameters using techniques such as Gaussian expansion about maximum a posteriori estimates, and Hamiltonian Monte Carlo.
      Comment: 22 pages, 10 figures, proceeding for the 2021 UP-STAT conference; submitted to Mathematics for Applications
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