Microsoft Research
Computational User Experiences

Interactive Scenario Explorer for Entertainment (iSee)

The online fantasy sports market is large and growing larger. Current online portals have made it easy for players to set up competitions and track their progress. We propose a system of interactive visualizations that allows players to project potential outcomes as well as explore future scenarios. We assert that having this makes games vastly more compelling (socially and cognitively) and serves to differentiate our portals from the others.

 

Project Team

Desney Tan

Desney Tan

 
Greg Smith

Greg Smith

 
Bongshin Lee

Bongshin Lee

 
George Robertson

George
Robertson

  
Yuval Peres

Yuval Peres

 
Eyal Lubetzky

Eyal Lubetzky

 
Yossi Azar

Yossi Azar

iSee

 

While current systems allow players to easily track the current state of fantasy competition, we propose a suite of interactive visualizations that allows players to project future outcomes within their competition as well as to generate interesting “what-if” scenarios. Many players try to do this manually, only to be frustrated with the amazingly complex combinatorial nature of the problem. Providing access to this functionality would not only differentiate the services we offer and drastically improve the user experience (i.e. making it more fun), but also cause players to spend more time on site, hence increasing potential advertising revenue.

For example, with our system, a player could look at their projected odds of winning the fantasy competition given the other players’ picks. It is interesting to note that these odds are not equal even if you assume random outcomes of real world games and even if none of the games have yet been played. These odds will dynamically update themselves as games are played in the real world and more information is available. Alternatively, a player might want to know the scenarios that would need to happen in order for their chances of winning to be the highest (e.g. if Germany wins then you should root for Italy to win, else you’re better off if the United States wins, etc). Such systems could also be used to help with the picks in the first place.

AdaptiviTree

 

Throughout the course of the tournament, players monitor the brackets to track progress and to compare predictions made by multiple players. This is often a complex sensemaking task. The classic bracket visualization was designed for use on paper and utilizes an incrementally additive system in which the winner of each match-up is rewritten in the next round as the tournament progresses. Unfortunately, this representation requires a significant amount of space and makes it relatively difficult to get a quick overview of the tournament state since competitors take arbitrary paths through the static bracket. AdaptiviTree is a novel visualization that adaptively deforms the representation of the tree and uses its shape to convey outcome information. AdaptiviTree not only provides a more compact and understandable representation, but also allows overlays that display predictions as well as other statistics.

 

Publications

iSee: Interactive Scenario Explorer for Online Tournament Games

Greg Smith, Desney S Tan, Bongshin Lee

Proceedings of ACE 2009, pp. 190-197

AdaptiviTree: Adaptive Tree Visualization for Tournament-Style Brackets

Desney S Tan, Greg Smith, Bongshin Lee, George G. Robertson

IEEE InfoVis 2007, pp. 1113-1120

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