One of the favorites to win the 2014 FIFA World Cup is host Brazil.
However, statisticians headed by Achim Zeileis from the University of Innsbruck show that the winning margin is considerably higher for Brazil than generally expected. By applying their statistical model based on bookmakers’ odds, the researchers previously correctly predicted the 2008 EURO final, Spain as the 2010 FIFA World Cup Champion and again as the 2012 EURO Champion.
Univ.-Prof. Achim Zeileis
University of Innsbruck
After 36 years the FIFA World Cup competition returns to South America. And as in all previous South American FIFA World Cup events, a South American team is again expected to take home the victory – this time the host Brazil. These are the results of a study carried out by statistician Prof. Achim Zeileis from the University of Innsbruck and his two colleagues Dr. Christoph Leitner and Prof. Kurt Hornik from the Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU Vienna).
The scientists have applied a model that proved reliable in forecasting the results of the 2008 and 2012 EURO events and the 2010 FIFA World Cup: the bookmaker consensus model. To forecast the winner, they obtained long-term winning odds of 22 online bookmakers, which in combination with complex statistical models allow for the simulation of all possible courses of the tournament and results.
According to this model, Brazil is the most likely to win the tournament with a probability of 22.5 percent. The odds to win the tournament for the three runner-ups are comparably high but the winning probability is clearly lower than the host’s: Argentina 15.8 percent, Germany 13.4 percent and Spain 11.8 percent.
All other competitors have considerably lower winning probabilities, with Belgium being the insider tip of the ‘best of the rest’ with a predicted 4.8 percent winning probability. The bookmaker model can also predict the likely teams for the final game, however, the uncertainty is much higher here: The most probable final is a match between Brazil and its neighbour Argentina (6.5 percent).
“We not only model the winner but also every possible course of the tournament. According to these models, Brazil emerges as the only team with 80 percent probability to beat almost any other team in the tournament. We are able to determine the probabilities of each team in the eight groups to proceed to the next stage in the tournament, and, eventually, the two teams in the final,” explains Achim Zeileis.
Statistical expertise and bookmaker knowledge
“Bookmakers base their odds on the most likely results. As experts they not only take historical data into account but also short-term events such as injuries,” explains the statistician. The odds are assigned in such a way that they predict the real results as accurately as possible on the one hand but also ensure profit for the bookmakers on the other hand. This system is an excellent basis for the model developed by Prof. Zeileis, Dr. Christoph Leitner and Prof. Kurt Hornik. “However, the quoted odds of the bookmakers have to be adjusted for profit margins. After that we can derive probabilities.”
In two further steps the statisticians determine the probable winner: The quoted winning odds show general winning probabilities for each team. In the next step, the scientists calculate the probability of each team to win against another team. “The tournament schedule was already known at the time the bookmakers calculated their odds, and, therefore, the winning probability of each team within its group has to be taken into account,” says Zeileis.
Together with the expectations of the bookmakers, the pairwise winning probabilities are added to the computer model, which then runs a simulation of every possible course of the tournament. “Compared to other models, ours has the advantage that it also yields ‘survival’ probabilities of each team over the course of the tournament,” explains Zeileis. “However, we are still a long way from predicting the outcome with 100 percent certainty,” adds Zeileis. Thus, we can still look forward to an exciting football tournament until the final whistle blow in Rio de Janeiro on July 13th.
Univ.-Prof. Achim Zeileis
Institute of Statistics
University of Innsbruck
Phone: +43 512 507-7103
Mag. Stefan Hohenwarter
Public Relations Office
University of Innsbruck
Phone: +43 512 507-32023
Cell: +43 676 8725 32023
http://EconPapers.RePEc.org/RePEc:inn:wpaper:2014-17 “Home Victory for Brazil in the 2014 FIFA World Cup” (complete study)
Mag. Stefan Hohenwarter | Universität Innsbruck
New drug reduces transplant and mortality rates significantly in patients with hepatitis C
29.05.2017 | Intermountain Medical Center
Institutions of higher education spent more than Euro 48 billion in 2014
19.05.2016 | Statistisches Bundesamt
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
22.09.2017 | Life Sciences
22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering
22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy