Detecting tactical patterns in basketball: Comparison of merge self-organising maps and dynamic controlled neural networks

Matthias Kempe*, Andreas Grunz, Daniel Memmert

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


The soaring amount of data, especially spatial-temporal data, recorded in recent years demands for advanced analysis methods. Neural networks derived from self-organizing maps established themselves as a useful tool to analyse static and temporal data. In this study, we applied the merge self-organising map (MSOM) to spatio-temporal data. To do so, we investigated the ability of MSOM ' s to analyse spatio-temporal data and compared its performance to the common dynamical controlled network (DyCoN) approach to analyse team sport position data. The position data of 10 players were recorded via the Ubisense tracking system during a basketball game. Furthermore, three different pre-selected plays were recorded for classification. Following data preparation, the different nets were trained with the data of the first half. The training success of both networks was evaluated by achieved entropy. The second half of the basketball game was presented to both nets for automatic classification. Both approaches were able to present the trained data extremely well and to detect the pre-selected plays correctly. In conclusion, MSOMs are a useful tool to analyse spatial-temporal data, especially in team sports. By their direct inclusion of different time length of tactical patterns, they open up new opportunities within team sports.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-255
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Sport Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 19-May-2015
Externally publishedYes


  • pattern recognition
  • Neuronal networks
  • performance analysis
  • basketball

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