Summary: Quantifying the Performance of Individual Players in a
, Joshua S. Waitzman1
, Lui´s A. Nunes Amaral1,2,4
1 Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, United States of America, 2 Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems,
Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, United States of America, 3 Department of Computer Science and Mathematics, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Tarragona, Spain,
4 Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, United States of America
Background: Teamwork is a fundamental aspect of many human activities, from business to art and from sports to science.
Recent research suggest that team work is of crucial importance to cutting-edge scientific research, but little is known about
how teamwork leads to greater creativity. Indeed, for many team activities, it is not even clear how to assign credit to
individual team members. Remarkably, at least in the context of sports, there is usually a broad consensus on who are the
top performers and on what qualifies as an outstanding performance.
Methodology/Principal Findings: In order to determine how individual features can be quantified, and as a test bed for
other team-based human activities, we analyze the performance of players in the European Cup 2008 soccer tournament.
We develop a network approach that provides a powerful quantification of the contributions of individual players and of
overall team performance.
Conclusions/Significance: We hypothesize that generalizations of our approach could be useful in other contexts where