Who's #1?: The Science of Rating and Ranking

Who's #1?: The Science of Rating and Ranking

by Amy N. Langville, Carl D. Meyer
     
 

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A website's ranking on Google can spell the difference between success and failure for a new business. NCAA football ratings determine which schools get to play for the big money in postseason bowl games. Product ratings influence everything from the clothes we wear to the movies we select on Netflix. Ratings and rankings are everywhere, but how exactly do they

Overview

A website's ranking on Google can spell the difference between success and failure for a new business. NCAA football ratings determine which schools get to play for the big money in postseason bowl games. Product ratings influence everything from the clothes we wear to the movies we select on Netflix. Ratings and rankings are everywhere, but how exactly do they work? Who's #1? offers an engaging and accessible account of how scientific rating and ranking methods are created and applied to a variety of uses.

Amy Langville and Carl Meyer provide the first comprehensive overview of the mathematical algorithms and methods used to rate and rank sports teams, political candidates, products, Web pages, and more. In a series of interesting asides, Langville and Meyer provide fascinating insights into the ingenious contributions of many of the field's pioneers. They survey and compare the different methods employed today, showing why their strengths and weaknesses depend on the underlying goal, and explaining why and when a given method should be considered. Langville and Meyer also describe what can and can't be expected from the most widely used systems.

The science of rating and ranking touches virtually every facet of our lives, and now you don't need to be an expert to understand how it really works. Who's #1? is the definitive introduction to the subject. It features easy-to-understand examples and interesting trivia and historical facts, and much of the required mathematics is included.

Editorial Reviews

Nature Physics
[A] thorough exploration of the methods and applications of ranking for an audience ranging from computer scientists and engineers to high-school teachers to 'people interested in wagering on just about anything'.
MAA Reviews
Who's #1 provides a fascinating tour through the world of rankings and is highly recommended.
— Richard J. Wilders
Journal of Applied Statistics
[T]he book . . . provide[s] an excellent, accessible, and stimulating discussion of the material it does cover. Overall, the book makes a valuable addition to the canon of rating and ranking.
— David J. Hand
Choice
This book provides an interesting overview of ranking various sports teams, chess players, politicians, and the like in real-life circumstances, which typically involve serious constraints on the time available to find the optimal ranking.
MAA Reviews - Richard J. Wilders
Who's #1 provides a fascinating tour through the world of rankings and is highly recommended.
Journal of Applied Statistics - David J. Hand
[T]he book . . . provide[s] an excellent, accessible, and stimulating discussion of the material it does cover. Overall, the book makes a valuable addition to the canon of rating and ranking.
SIAM Review - James Keener
The book could be used to supplement a course on linear algebra and/or numerical linear algebra. . . . The book could also be used as the basis for a short topics course or undergraduate research project on ranking, or it could be used in a modeling class as an example of how mathematical modeling is done. In addition to describing the mathematics of ranking, the book is full of interesting tidbits that add to the pleasure of its reading.
Notices of the AMS - Andrew I. Dale
When I started this book I knew very little about American football. I was little the wiser after finishing it, but I had an excellent understanding of various methods used in the obtaining of the ranking of teams and their interrelationships. Langville and Meyer are to be commended for this collection, and anyone who is more conversant with North American sports than I am will most certainly be stimulated by reading Who's #1?
From the Publisher
"[A] thorough exploration of the methods and applications of ranking for an audience ranging from computer scientists and engineers to high-school teachers to 'people interested in wagering on just about anything'."Nature Physics

"Who's #1 provides a fascinating tour through the world of rankings and is highly recommended."—Richard J. Wilders, MAA Reviews

"[T]he book . . . provide[s] an excellent, accessible, and stimulating discussion of the material it does cover. Overall, the book makes a valuable addition to the canon of rating and ranking."—David J. Hand, Journal of Applied Statistics

"This book provides an interesting overview of ranking various sports teams, chess players, politicians, and the like in real-life circumstances, which typically involve serious constraints on the time available to find the optimal ranking."Choice

"The book could be used to supplement a course on linear algebra and/or numerical linear algebra. . . . The book could also be used as the basis for a short topics course or undergraduate research project on ranking, or it could be used in a modeling class as an example of how mathematical modeling is done. In addition to describing the mathematics of ranking, the book is full of interesting tidbits that add to the pleasure of its reading."—James Keener, SIAM Review

"When I started this book I knew very little about American football. I was little the wiser after finishing it, but I had an excellent understanding of various methods used in the obtaining of the ranking of teams and their interrelationships. Langville and Meyer are to be commended for this collection, and anyone who is more conversant with North American sports than I am will most certainly be stimulated by reading Who's #1?"—Andrew I. Dale, Notices of the AMS

"Readers will find many interesting ideas as they grapple with the complexities of the science of rating and ranking."—Bob Horton, Mathematics Teacher

"[T]his book is a call to consciousness on the relevance of rating and ranking as well as an enjoyable start-up guide from the point of view of algebraic methods."—Francisco Grimaldo Moreno, JASSS

"This book is a great introduction to the field (including its constituent parts in linear algebra and data mining) and contains enough depth to be used as a supplemental book in a data mining course or as a jumping off point for an interested researcher. . . . Overall this is a very nice, well written book that could be use in multiple ways by a wide variety of audiences."—Nicholas Mattei, SigAct News

"The profit the scientometrics community can gain from this book is an indirect one: an attitude how to compile a systematic collection of potential methods, how to select carefully using theoretical tests and empirical examples and how to combine methods to get a comprehensive, multidimensional rating and ranking system. In this sense, it is a highly recommended reading for all readers of the journal Scientometrics."—Andras Schubert, Scientometrics

"This book is an excellent read for everyone; readers might be sports enthusiasts, social choice theorists, mathematicians, computer scientists, engineers, and college and high school teachers. Teachers will find quite an easy way to extract material for a short module."—Valentina Dagiene, Zentralblatt MATH

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781400841677
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
02/26/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
272
File size:
12 MB
Note:
This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Amy N. Langville is associate professor of mathematics at the College of Charleston. Carl D. Meyer is professor of mathematics at North Carolina State University. They are the authors of Google's PageRank and Beyond: The Science of Search Engine Rankings (Princeton).

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