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The Predictive Power of Noisy Round-Robin Tournaments

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  • Dmitry Ryvkin
  • Andreas Ortmann

Abstract

The round-robin tournament format for N players is a scheme that matches players with one another in all possible N(N - 1)/2 pairwise comparisons. A noisy round-robin tournament adds the possibility of upsets, or noise, and hence reduces the power of the tournament to reveal the true ranking of the players. In this article we study theoretically (analytically and by way of computational simulations) the predictive power of noisy round-robin tournaments for three prominent distributions of players’ abilities, as a function of the level of noise and the number of players. At first sight, some of our results (e.g., non-monotonicity as a function of the number of players N, which makes some ranges of N non-optimal) are quite counterintuitive but should be of help to a tournament designer who tries to maximize, or maybe minimize, the probability of the best player winning.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economic Institute, Prague in its series CERGE-EI Working Papers with number wp236.

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Date of creation: Sep 2004
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Handle: RePEc:cer:papers:wp236

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Related research

Keywords: Round-robin tournaments; Noise; Power distributions; Design economics;

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References

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  1. Dmitry Ryvkin, 2005. "The Predictive Power of Noisy Elimination Tournaments," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp252, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economic Institute, Prague.
  2. Jonathan Levin & Barry Nalebuff, 1995. "An Introduction to Vote-Counting Schemes," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(1), pages 3-26, Winter.
  3. Jerry R. Green & Nancy L. Stokey, 1982. "A Comparison of Tournaments and Contracts," NBER Working Papers 0840, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Hvide, H.K., 1999. "Tournament Rewards and Risk Taking," Papers 32-99, Tel Aviv.
  5. Alvin E. Roth, 2002. "The Economist as Engineer: Game Theory, Experimentation, and Computation as Tools for Design Economics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(4), pages 1341-1378, July.
  6. Taylor, Curtis R, 1995. "Digging for Golden Carrots: An Analysis of Research Tournaments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 872-90, September.
  7. Knoeber, Charles R & Thurman, Walter N, 1994. "Testing the Theory of Tournaments: An Empirical Analysis of Broiler Production," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(2), pages 155-79, April.
  8. Reed, William J., 2001. "The Pareto, Zipf and other power laws," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 15-19, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Dmitry Ryvkin, 2005. "The Predictive Power of Noisy Elimination Tournaments," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp252, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economic Institute, Prague.
  2. Dmitry Ryvkin & Andreas Ortmann, 2006. "Three Prominent Tournament Formats: Predictive Power and Costs," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp303, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economic Institute, Prague.

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