Using the power of data, Vosseler predicts that France will lift the World Cup. He’s hoping to win the "Golden Boot" at the Allianz Prediction Game with Machine Learning, which is an internal prediction game for football-enthusiastic employees.
You’d think that the man who has made it to the second place in the World Cup Prediction Game after the preliminary round would be a football expert. Ironically, Vosseler admits he doesn’t know “anything about football”.
“In my work, I develop machine learning models with which we can, for example, automatically detect fraud cases, calculate the probability of successful recourse from third parties and much more. In principle, I used the same algorithms to predict football matches,” he says.
Vosseler explains how the model works: “In a first step, we collected all freely available data that was relevant to us. This, of course, includes all results of the last big tournaments, as well as the friendly matches of the last 10 years.” There on, he created variables to better predict the chances of a win or a draw. Among these variables were the current World Football Elo rating per team, goal differences per match and so on.
Two models that are frequently used in claims were combined to get the predictions. One was a model for predicting the "win/draw/loss" conditions and the second was for predicting goals per team. “Then I waited for ‘Robo2018’ to spit it out.”