Generalized Knockout Tournament Seedings
Generalized knockout tournament seedings for an arbitrary number of participants in one match are designed. Several properties of knockout tournament seedings are investigated. Enumeration results for knockout tournament seedings with different properties are obtained. Several new generalized knockout tournaments seedings are proposed and justified by a set of properties.
Before a knock-out tournament starts, the participants are assigned to positions in the tournament bracket through a process known as seeding. There are many ways to seed a tournament. In this paper, we solve a discrete optimization problem of finding a seeding that maximizes spectator interest in a tournament when spectators are interested in matches with high competitive intensity (i.e., matches that involve teams comparable in strength) and high quality (i.e., matches that involve strong teams). We find a solution to the problem under two assumptions: the objective function is linear in quality and competitive intensity and a stronger team beats a weaker one with sufficiently high probability. Depending on parameters, only two special classes of seedings can be optimal. While one of the classes includes a seeding that is often used in practice, the seedings in the other class are very different. When we relax the assumption of linearity, we find that these classes of seedings are in fact optimal in a sizable number of cases. In contrast to existing literature on optimal seedings, our results are valid for an arbitrarily large number of participants in a tournament.
A new set of axioms and new method (equal gap seeding) are designed. The equal gap seeding is the unique seeding that, under the deterministic domain assumption, satisfies the delayed confrontation, fairness, increasing competitive intensity and equal rank differences axioms. The equal gap seeding is the unique seeding that, under the linear domain assumption, maximizes the probability that the strongest participant is the winner, the strongest two participants are the finalists, the strongest four participants are the quarterfinalists, etc.