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Math The Almighty Buck

World Cup Forecasting Challenge For Quants 111

Posted by timothy
from the kickoff-in-four-days dept.
databuff writes "As a break from projecting the strength of subprime mortgages, credit default swaps, and other obscure financial instruments, quantitative analysts at Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, UBS, and Danske Bank have modeled the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Now Kaggle has set up a forecasting competition, allowing statisticians to go head-to-head with these corporate giants. The challenge is to predict how far each country will progress in the tournament."
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World Cup Forecasting Challenge For Quants

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  • by Bysshe (1330263) on Monday June 07, 2010 @05:12AM (#32481710)
    I wouldn't put too much stock in their predictions. You know its fishy when they forecast Angola as a "team with strong fundamentals and underlying security". (I'm not even sure Angola has a team).
  • Re:Bias (Score:3, Informative)

    by Hognoxious (631665) on Monday June 07, 2010 @10:34AM (#32483586) Homepage Journal

    I recommend Terry Pratchett's book 'Making Money'. One "quant" essentially created a glass model of economy

    As ever, truth is stranger [wikipedia.org] than fiction. Saw it on a BBC documentary/OU program once, it's quite possible that Sir Terry saw it too. - although he probably doesn't remember...

  • Not too new (Score:3, Informative)

    by KGBear (71109) on Monday June 07, 2010 @11:07AM (#32484038) Homepage
    15 years ago, when I was working as a Systems Analyst at a Brazilian bank that shall remain nameless, it was common knowledge that trading desks all over the country were engaging in this kind of thing. They would create "financial products" tied to World Cup statistics and use all the technology, corporate and individual knowledge at their disposal to try to predict the outcomes and win or lose huge sums of money. Individuals bet with their own money and the corporations they worked for (and who provided the infrastructure for this) tended to look the other way. One such "product" I remember well was the so-called "GDC" ("Gols Da Copa" - Cup Goals) which created a market around the total number of goals to be scored during the World Cup. I knew one trader who payed for his house with his GDC money. Most of the time it was a mostly harmless hobby (if you discount the fact that gambling is illegal in Brazil) but as the World Cup final approached, I was very aware that the resources who were supposed to be working on models of commodities, foreign exchange and other markets did little else than model the World Cup; this included both people and computational resources. I wonder if some of my old colleagues in Brazilian banking ended up finding positions in Wall St.
  • by fantomas (94850) on Monday June 07, 2010 @12:34PM (#32485258)

    For American non-football fans, the "World" in "World Cup" means that lots of different countries from around the world participate. Different kind of "World" from "World Series Baseball" which I believe has a different interpretation of what the word means ;-)

    Sorry, couldn't resist it ;-) Hey, you're in the football world cup too, and you're not too bad at the game either!

    (yes I know it might just mean the name of a newspaper rather than a particularly limited view of how many countries there are out there...)

  • Re:What's the x-bar (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 07, 2010 @02:28PM (#32486844)

    recreational soccer is serious business

Computers will not be perfected until they can compute how much more than the estimate the job will cost.

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