Pagerank Algorithm Reveals World’s All-Time Top Soccer Team

As we have learned in class the PageRank algorithm formed in the mid-1990’s was made to rank a webpage’s importance based on the number of other important sites it is linked to. Since it was originally used different researches have applied this to other networks including elections and scientific papers. Now researchers from Methodius University in Macedonia have applied the page rank algorithm to rank the twenty best nations to ever play in the 20 world cup tournaments since 1930. They showed this by giving a high rank to teams that have beaten other highly ranked teams. They showed after taking the results from over 7000 games played between over 200 countries. In this network the teams are nodes and a link exists when the two teams played each other, the weight was decided by who won. The results showed that Brazil came in first with the most tournament wins, the most games played, won, and goals scored. After Brazil came Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Argentina, England, Spain, France, and Czechoslovakia. It was interestingly found that these results were slightly different than the official FIFA list. This was an interesting application of PageRank that showed just how versatile it can be in describing networks of all kinds, it would be interesting to see the way it would apply to other sports.

http://www.technologyreview.com/view/535861/pagerank-algorithm-reveals-worlds-all-time-top-soccer-team/

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