Toward Automatically Labeling Situations in Soccer

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We study the automatic annotation of situations in soccer games. At first sight, this translates nicely into a standard supervised learning problem. However, in a fully supervised setting, predictive accuracies are supposed to correlate positively with the amount of labeled situations: more labeled training data simply promise better performance. Unfortunately, non-trivially annotated situations in soccer games are scarce, expensive and almost always require human experts; a fully supervised approach appears infeasible. Hence, we split the problem into two parts and learn (i) a meaningful feature representation using variational autoencoders on unlabeled data at large scales and (ii) a large-margin classifier acting in this feature space but utilize only a few (manually) annotated examples of the situation of interest. We propose four different architectures of the variational autoencoder and empirically study the detection of corner kicks, crosses and counterattacks. We observe high predictive accuracies above 90% AUC irrespectively of the task.

Original languageEnglish
Article number725431
JournalFrontiers in Sports and Active Living
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 03.11.2021