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Thread: Pairs of players and shared experience

  1. #1
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    Pairs of players and shared experience

    I read an interesting post (if you like programming) last week, looking at how to calculate how many games any two players have played together. I think it can be used to tell us something about where the current team is at.

    The most games played by a pair for the Swans is 301, played by Adam Goodes and Jude Bolton. I'd guess that > 300 shared games is pretty unusual.

    It's possible to take this further by calculating all pairs of players with > N games (say N = 50) and building a network that shows connections between players. A bit of fancy maths can then group the players according to the number of connections that they share.

    So - here is the network of Swans players from 1990 onwards who played 50 or more games with another player. It's interesting that the fancy maths has automatically grouped players into what we might call the teams of the 1990s (orange), 2000s (green) and 2010s (blue), with some overlap of course.

    Now look at that blue group. See who is gone: Laidler, Tippett, Mitchell, Hannebery, Richards, White, Shaw, Malceski, Mattner, Towers, Birds, Rohan, Jetta, McGlynn, Mumford, Pyke. Of those left, think about how many are young, old, down on recent form or have missed significant periods of time with injury. Remember: you are only seeing names of players who played 50 or more with someone else on the team.

    When Longmire says it's a different team now, he's not kidding. A massive amount of shared experience has been lost.

    Last edited by neilfws; 29th April 2019 at 02:08 PM.

  2. #2
    Fantastic post! Thought provoking. Thank you neilfws.

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    Although I'm not sure how to read the graph. What shows me that Adam Goodes played more with Jude Bolton than anybody else? Does the mere fact of a link mean that the two players joined by the link played 50+ games together?

    - - - Updated - - -

    There are basically a dozen players from our current best 22 (not including Kizza, Smith, Grundy, McVeigh) there.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by bloodspirit View Post
    Although I'm not sure how to read the graph. What shows me that Adam Goodes played more with Jude Bolton than anybody else? Does the mere fact of a link mean that the two players joined by the link played 50+ games together?
    Very good questions. You can't see the 301 shared games in this graph - I have a table with those numbers if anyone wants to know the top 10 or so.

    Yes, a link means that a pair of players played 50+ together. So multiple links means a player played 50+ with lots of players. You might consider those players as important "hubs" within the team.

  4. #4
    Thanks again. FYI all (and no criticism of you, neilfws, but another of the graph is that it is difficult to read e.g. it's hard to figure out who are all the other players that Nick Smith has played 50 games with) when you click on the image it opens in a separate window and then you get the option to do one level of zooming that helps a bit to read the detail.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bloodspirit View Post
    Thanks again. FYI all (and no criticism of you, neilfws, but another of the graph is that it is difficult to read e.g. it's hard to figure out who are all the other players that Nick Smith has played 50 games with) when you click on the image it opens in a separate window and then you get the option to do one level of zooming that helps a bit to read the detail.
    Absolutely, these network graphs do get messy (people call them hairballs sometimes).

    The program that creates them (Gephi) is better than a static image as it allows you to zoom, drag, rearrange and so on. I think the key thing we get from the image is the groups, as opposed to the details of individuals.

  6. #6
    Travelling Swannie!! mcs's Avatar
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    Fantastic Neil - really good way to present it, and insightful analysis!

    I often think your statistical brilliance is somewhat wasted on us good folk on RWO
    "You get the feeling that like Monty Python's Black Knight, the Swans would regard amputation as merely a flesh wound."

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