Spatial and Temporal Entropies in the Spanish Football League: A Network Science Perspective


We quantified the spatial and temporal entropy related to football teams and their players by means of a pass-based interaction. First, we calculated the spatial entropy associated to the positions of all passes made by a football team during a match, obtaining a spatial entropy ranking of Spanish teams during the 2017/2018 season. Second, we investigated how the player’s average location in the field is related to the amount of entropy of his passes. Next, we constructed the temporal passing networks of each team and computed the deviation of their network parameters along the match. For each network parameter, we obtained the permutation entropy and the statistical complexity of its temporal fluctuations. Finally, we investigated how the permutation entropy (and statistical complexity) of the network parameters was related to the total number of passes made by a football team. Our results show that (i) spatial entropy changes according to the position of players in the field, and (ii) the organization of passing networks change during a match and its evolution can be captured measuring the permutation entropy and statistical complexity of the network parameters, allowing to identify what parameters evolve more randomly. View Full-Text

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