Clinching Playoff Spots and Manipulating Tournaments

Speaker: Tyrel Russell

This talk will have two parts. The first part will be a short talk on the work that I will be presenting at CPAIOR this year. I will discuss the methods used to determine the number of points needed to clinch a playoff spot in the NHL using techniques from Constraint Programing and Operations Research. In the second part of the talk, I will discuss some recent work using winner determination or playoff qualification methods to identify manipulations in sports competitions. Standard competitions like cups and round robin will be shown to be manipulable in polynomial time. As well, these competitions are particularly vulnerable since determining the minimal number of games which need to be thrown in order to manipulate the result can also be calculated in polynomial time. As well, several variations of the cup competitions are shown to be manipulable in polynomial time.

1. Joint work with Peter van Beek
2. Joint work with Toby Walsh