Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Nate Dogg Number

Nate Dogg was a rapper known for his prolific collaborations with numerous other hip-hop artists, whence he can usually be heard singing a catchy hook in between melodic rap verses. Nate Dogg passed away recently, and I thought it would be fun to honor him by creating the Nate Dogg number. Similar to the Erdős number, the Nate Dogg number is the collaborative distance between a person and Nate Dogg as measured by a collaboration on a musical track.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Data Mining the NBA - Players Most Similar to Michael Jordan

Professional sports are chock full of numbers and statistics, which are possibly the most widely consumed and readily available mass data sets. For an aspiring data geek and long time sports fan, applying data mining techniques to sports is a fun and interesting way to play with various approaches and potentially discover new things from data. Lucky for us, many of these data sets are available online and can be downloaded for free. For NBA data, we can use the great data set provided by that includes comprehensive statistics for the NBA and the ABA from inception until 2009.

When it comes to basketball, the most oft-debated issue is the question of who the greatest player of all time is. However, there's usually little controversy or dissent.