# Time-warping: How can it help predict baseball?

A couple of months ago, I was talking to Anne Milley, director of analytical intelligence strategy at SAS. She was telling me about time-warping. That’s a method for assessing greater significance to events that happen in certain times.

The most common is to give more weight to the most recent events. The book I looked for yesterday is probably more a predictor of my interest tomorrow than one I searched for in 2004. But how much more relevant is it? Statisticans can study patterns across large populations and come up with time-warping formulas. I would imagine that they vary from sector to sector. A three-year-old search for hospice treatment probably has close to zero predictive power at this point. But if you were looking for Bob Dylan songs back then, you’re probably still interested.

This type of analysis is going to become ever more pervasive as we generate more time-stamped data with our smart phones. Of course, the trick then will be to warp for both time and place. The variations are endless.

I would imagine that Nate Silver, the baseball and political statistician I interviewed last spring at South by SouthWest, has sophisticated time-warping

A couple of months ago, I was talking to Anne Milley, director of analytical intelligence strategy at SAS. She was telling me about time-warping. That’s a method for assessing greater significance to events that happen in certain times.

The most common is to give more weight to the most recent events. The book I looked for yesterday is probably more a predictor of my interest tomorrow than one I searched for in 2004. But how much more relevant is it? Statisticans can study patterns across large populations and come up with time-warping formulas. I would imagine that they vary from sector to sector. A three-year-old search for hospice treatment probably has close to zero predictive power at this point. But if you were looking for Bob Dylan songs back then, you’re probably still interested.

This type of analysis is going to become ever more pervasive as we generate more time-stamped data with our smart phones. Of course, the trick then will be to warp for both time and place. The variations are endless.