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Machine learning of swimming data via wisdom of crowd and regression analysis

1. School of Computer Engineering and Science, Shanghai University, 99 Shangda Road, Shanghai 200444, China
2. University High School, 4771 Campus Drive, Irvine, CA 92612, USA
3. Department of Mathematics, Center for Mathematical and Computational Biology, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697, USA

Every performance, in an officially sanctioned meet, by a registered USA swimmer is recorded into an online database with times dating back to 1980. For the first time, statistical analysis and machine learning methods are systematically applied to 4,022,631 swim records. In this study, we investigate performance features for all strokes as a function of age and gender. The variances in performance of males and females for different ages and strokes were studied, and the correlations of performances for different ages were estimated using the Pearson correlation. Regression analysis show the performance trends for both males and females at different ages and suggest critical ages for peak training. Moreover, we assess twelve popular machine learning methods to predict or classify swimmer performance. Each method exhibited different strengths or weaknesses in different cases, indicating no one method could predict well for all strokes. To address this problem, we propose a new method by combining multiple inference methods to derive Wisdom of Crowd Classifier (WoCC). Our simulation experiments demonstrate that the WoCC is a consistent method with better overall prediction accuracy. Our study reveals several new age-dependent trends in swimming and provides an accurate method for classifying and predicting swimming times.

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Copyright Info: © 2017, Qing Nie, et al., licensee AIMS Press. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licese (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)

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