This is the program for the 2010 Joint Statistical Meetings in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Abstract Details

Activity Number: 325
Type: Invited
Date/Time: Tuesday, August 3, 2010 : 10:30 AM to 12:20 PM
Sponsor: Section on Statistics in Sports
Abstract - #306308
Title: Applications and Implications of a Nested Dirichlet Model of Baseball Player Ability
Author(s): Brad Null*+
Companies: AOL Research
Address: , , CA, ,
Keywords: baseball ; Dirichlet ; forecasting ; hierarchical model ; Bayesian ; sports

An understanding of the underlying abilities of the involved players is integral to many forecasting and optimization applications in baseball. Through the years, many approaches have been taken to assess these abilities, from simple aggregation of historical statistics to complex predictive methods. In this talk, we present a nested Dirichlet based model of player ability with several unique qualities. In particular, the model aims to accurately assess not just a player's estimated abilities, but the associated uncertainty with respect to those estimates, as well as the stochastic dynamics in these abilities that cause them to fluctuate over time. We will show how these and other features of the model lead to improved forecasting of player, play, game, and season results, as well as new insights that can be leveraged with respect to related optimization problems.

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