Discovering a cohesive football team through players’ attributed collaboration networks

Yifeng Zeng*, Shenbao Yu, Yinghui Pan, Bilian Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
43 Downloads (Pure)


The process of team composition in multiplayer sports such as football has been a main area of interest within the field of the science of teamwork, which is important for improving competition results and game experience. Recent algorithms for the football team composition problem take into account the skill proficiency of players but not the interactions between players that contribute to winning the championship. To automate the composition of a cohesive team, we consider the internal collaborations among football players. Specifically, we propose a Team Composition based on the Football Players’ Attributed Collaboration Network (TC-FPACN) model, aiming to identify a cohesive football team by maximizing football players’ capabilities and their collaborations via three network metrics, namely, network ability, network density and network heterogeneity&homogeneity. Solving the optimization problem is NP-hard; we develop an approximation method based on greedy algorithms and then improve the method through pruning strategies given a budget limit. We conduct experiments on two popular football simulation platforms. The experimental results show that our proposed approach can form effective teams that dominate others in the majority of simulated competitions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13506-13526
Number of pages21
JournalApplied Intelligence
Issue number11
Early online date12 Oct 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2023


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