Constructing Schedules for Sports Leagues with Divisional and Round-robin Tournament Play by Jeffrey Larson, KTH


In this talk, we analyze a sports league that wishes to augment its traditional double round-robin tournament into a longer season. The method for doing so, chosen by the top Swedish handball league Elitserien, is to form two divisions that hold an additional single round-robin tournament to start the season. This format introduces new constraints since pairs of teams in the same division meet three times during the season, while others only meet twice. Though motivated by the concerns of a specific league, the requirements addressed are general enough to be useful for other leagues. We enumerate the number of minimum break home-away pattern sets that satisfy the league's requirements, not all of which are schedulable. We propose a sequence of increasingly restrictive necessary conditions that remove most of the unschedulable home-away pattern sets from consideration. We lastly discuss the final steps of assigning teams to a schedulable home-away pattern set; our approach was used to construct the 2013-14 Elitserien schedule.


Speaker: Jeffrey Larson, Automatic Control Department, KTH.

Jeffrey Larson is a postdoctoral researcher in the Automatic Control Department at KTH - Royal Institute of Technology. He received his Ph.D in Mathematics in 2012 from the University of Colorado Denver. In addition to sports scheduling, his research focuses on optimizing simulations or functions without derivatives. He has studied at Argonne National Laboratory, the National Renewable Energies Laboratory, and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and enjoys applications of optimization to real-world problems.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013,
14:00 to 15:00
SICS, room von Neumann
Isafjordsgatan 22
Sverker Janson