Researchers find optimal rules for seedings in knock-out tournaments

Researchers from the Higher School of Economics and the Stanford Graduate School of Business have conducted a study on tournaments using the playoff system, which is one of the most popular forms of sporting competitions. In the playoff system, two teams play one another in each match, and the winner advances to the next stage of the tournament, while the loser is eliminated. Mathematical calculations allowed the researchers to identify two optimum systems for solving the discrete optimization problem of finding a seeding that maximizes spectator interest in a tournament when spectators are interested in matches with a high level of competitiveness. The results of the study were published in the Journal of Combinatorial Optimization.