Judging the judges: Evaluating the performance of international gymnastics judges
Dr. Hugues Mercier (Université de Neuchâtel)
Judging a gymnastics routine is a noisy process, and the performance of judges varies widely. The International Federation of Gymnastics (FIG), in collaboration with Longines and the Université de Neuchâtel, is designing and implementing an improved statistical engine to analyze the performance of gymnastics judges during and after major competitions like the Olympic Games and the World Championships. The engine, called the Judge Evaluation program (JEP), has three objectives: (1) provide constructive feedback to judges, executive committees and national federations; (2) assign the best judges to the most important competitions; and (3) detect bias and outright cheating. In this presentation, using data from international competitions held during the 2013-2016 Olympic cycle, I will first develop a marking score evaluating the accuracy of the marks given by judges. I will then study ranking scores assessing to what extent judges rate gymnasts in the correct order, and explain why we ultimately chose not to implement them. I will study outlier detection to pinpoint athletes that were poorly evaluated by judges. Finally, I will discuss interesting observations and discoveries that led to recommendations to the FIG.
Dr Hugues Mercier received the B.Sc. degree in mathematics from Université Laval, the M.Sc. degree in computer science from the Université de Montréal, and the Ph.D. degree in electrical and computer engineering from the University of British Columbia, Canada, in 2008. From 2008 to 2011, he was a postdoctoral research fellow at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and at McGill University. Currently, he is a research associate at the Université de Neuchâtel in Switzerland. His current interests are the applications of coding theory, information theory, combinatorics, and algorithms to the study of communication networks. He is the scientific and technical director of the SafeCloud H2020 project.
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