Event Forecasting (The Virtual Tout®)

The Virtual Tout ® is an event forecasting service that draws on prediction markets to pick winning teams, including political teams.

Before there was The Virtual Tout ® , we published Without a Tout: How to Pick a Winning Team, analyzing the 2007 Major League Baseball regular season from its first game to the beginning of the postseason. With a focus on baseball, the book provided examples of feature engineering in traditional models for predicting the outcome of sporting events. The book set the stage for models in other sports, including college and pro basketball and football, which were part of the The Virtual Tout ® offering for a number of years. The Virtual Tout ® became a registered trademark of Research Publishers LLC on July 19, 2011.

If you would like to review ideas for an event forecasting project, contact us at:

Methods originally developed for use in sports betting have been extended into various competitive endeavors, drawing pricing data from prediction markets. Most recently, The Virtual Tout ® event forecasting service has been employed to predict the outcome of the 2020 US presidential election.

Origins of The Virtual Tout ® and methods of election forecasting (audio):

Download the working paper about election forecasting:

Research. Predicting the 2020 Presidential Election

Understanding election simulation used in the paper (audio):

Understanding the figure in the paper (audio):

For daily updates of the U.S. presidential election forecast between now and November 3, 2020, see the online site for Data Science Quarterly.