Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile

Welcome to John Bridge / Tile Your World, the friendliest DIY Forum on the Internet


Advertiser Directory
JohnBridge.com Home
Buy John Bridge's Books

Go Back   Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile > Tile & Stone Forums > Tile Forum/Advice Board

Sponsors


Reply
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Unread 07-05-2018, 11:21 PM   #1
Fractal
Registered User
 
Fractal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: New York
Posts: 162
Send a message via AIM to Fractal
Random Isn't Easy.

Hi everybody! It's been a few years since I was here, but I often think of the tile forum whenever I'm traveling around and seeing various tile jobs here and there. This month I had the opportunity to be in a condo in Thailand, where my balcony had a good view of a swimming pool that was being tiled.

I got to see them make all sorts of interesting mistakes, but the one I want to talk about here involves randomizing tiles.

These workers were given boxes of light blue and dark blue tiles, at I'm going to guess, a ratio of 5 light to 1 dark.

The work we are seeing is a great demonstration on how this article is true:

It’s hard to fake randomness.

Having just read Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson again, it’s easy to think a lot about how far from random the light and dark blue tiles have been placed. For example in a real random tessellation with two colors even if the dark blue ones comprise 20% of the aggregate, there ought to be more clumps of dark blue. But a human choosing tile colors to emulate what they personally feel is random is loathe to clump too many, imagining that’s not possible.

When looking at the entire pool floor, it’s easy to distinguish the different laborers’ work, by their unique way of “randomizing” the tiles. For example one area has no dark tiles touching at all, while another part, in the top right, has many pairs of dark, and as a matter of a fact, much more than that part more towards the center. As they run out of pool to tile, they don’t seem to have noticed they have about as many boxes of the dark blue left as they do of the light, so I’m wondering how they will deal with that.
If I were doing the tile job I’d probably vie for generating the pattern on a computer and having the workers follow the printout.
I wonder though, once it’s all filled with water and in use, how many people will notice that the colors tell a story about each worker’s inner thoughts.

for comparison, take a look at a truly random selection that I produced from random.org. It's in the included PDF.

In the ramdom selection, I see a lot of old friends from jon conway's life, as well as lots of the expected shapes I'd anticipate seeing in a random sampling... there are faces, too... the tetrominoes (tetris shapes) are there as well. I do not think that pool had a single tetromino... not a one... how unlikely is that?

(I do not know why the photos are rotated. could somebody show me how to correct them? the original files aren't wrong)

So the bottom line is, if I were making a field of random tiles, I'd generate the map, print it out, and follow it. I guess dice, playing cards, a tray full of colored ping pong balls are also interesting ways to randomize, but those methodes could be compromised by human desire not to obey the random results.
Attached Images
  
Attached Images
File Type: pdf pool tlles random.org.pdf (626.5 KB, 98 views)
__________________
-Dave
Fractal is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Unread 07-06-2018, 12:13 AM   #2
Tool Guy - Kg
Moderator -- Wisconsin Kitchen & Bath Remodeler
 
Tool Guy - Kg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Oak Creek, WI
Posts: 22,834
Good to see you again, Dave!

That is amazingly distinctive in sections. Before I saw the pics, I didn’t think I’d be able to see what you were talking about. But it’s pretty easy to see.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fractal
...could be compromised by human desire not to obey the random results.
Ha! I love this comment.

About the rotated pics...that’s a byproduct of the forum’s software not giving enough importance to pictures taken via phones. One of these updates, vBulletin is gonna catch up. But I’m not holding my breath. If I was at a desktop, I’d rotate the pics for you. But for now, I’m on a phone.

__________________
Tonto Goldstein... but my friends call me Bubba

Help an awesome summer camp!
Tool Guy - Kg is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 07-06-2018, 02:54 AM   #3
Fractal
Registered User
 
Fractal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: New York
Posts: 162
Send a message via AIM to Fractal
did you look at the pdf with the truly random pattern? it's distinctively different. Sadly I couldn't get the bbs software to display the pdf directly
__________________
-Dave
Fractal is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 07-06-2018, 04:48 AM   #4
ddmoit
Veteran DIYer -- Schluterville Graduate
 
ddmoit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: SE Tennessee
Posts: 8,884
Should have used a die. Roll a six, place a dark blue tile.
__________________
Dan - a DIYer in SE Tennessee
ddmoit is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 07-06-2018, 04:59 AM   #5
Fractal
Registered User
 
Fractal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: New York
Posts: 162
Send a message via AIM to Fractal
problem is that's 1 out of 6 not 1 out of 5. and people won't listen to the results, as I said. they won't beliee it, for example, if they get 5 sixes in a row, even though that's likely in a pool like that, to happen a few times.

of course with 5 dice, anything adding up to 26 or more would be a 1/5 chance... but still. people won't believe the results and will mess them up.
__________________
-Dave

Last edited by Fractal; 07-06-2018 at 05:52 AM.
Fractal is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 07-06-2018, 06:27 AM   #6
smifwal
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 1,610
Great article and prospective on randominess. Yahtzee
__________________
Shawn
smifwal is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 07-06-2018, 07:46 AM   #7
Gozo
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Central Virginia
Posts: 554
It’s not just pure mathematical random. I think they were going for a random appearance but with an even distribution. That and also they’d try to avoid recognizable objects. Humans have an ability to pull things like faces out of randomness. We’ve all looked at Jackson Pollock paintings and seen all sorts of faces and such in there. Avoiding that breaks the pure randomness of the pattern. I think they did a decent job of it given what they had. And again from your reference point, it’s easier to spot the overall tile distribution trend. Down there in the pool, on their hands and knees; not so easy to visualize.
You’re absolutely right, random isn’t easy. My marble-ish patterned floor tiles advertised to have 1023 pattern variations. It was actually probably about that if you counted the same piece of a bigger pattern being shifted from tile to tile a few inches as “different”. I mixed the tiles from different boxes well and rotated them as I went. There was a distinctive blob pattern that I nicknamed “squiddy” that kept popping up (there’s that human nature to find things in visual noise). I had to rearrange the randomness to avoid squiddies from popping up to close to one another. There’s a squiddy right in front of the toilet that greets me every morning. My wife just sees a blob.
__________________
Jeff

Last edited by Gozo; 07-06-2018 at 07:48 AM. Reason: Stupid Apple auto spell....
Gozo is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 07-06-2018, 08:01 AM   #8
MisterJJ
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Ramona (SoCal)
Posts: 154
Yeah, true randomness creates small area patterns (sub-patterns?). I have a logical mind that works in patterns and finds patterns where there is very little of a pattern there. I can't tell you how many faces, creatures, and objects I've found in the tiles on a bathroom floor. So simulating true randomness is hard for me. But I've found that when a "random" pattern is desired, what is really desired is not true random but a lack of an easily recognizable pattern.

I would suggest that you generate a true randomized pattern, then look for easily recognizable sub-patterns and swap as needed to get rid of the most obvious ones.

Right now I'm doing a 5 tile high mosaic accent strip. The tiles come in a sheet with 2 colors and 3 styles of glass, plus a stone one. So 7 different tiles. I'm sure the tiles are loaded into a hopper and pop out mostly random. The sheets have places where 5 of the same color are adjacent to each other and other patterns. I had to pull the tiles off the backing and make my own "lack of pattern" pattern.
__________________
Joe
MisterJJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 07-06-2018, 09:05 AM   #9
wwhitney
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Berkeley, CA
Posts: 1,110
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave
problem is that's 1 out of 6 not 1 out of 5.
To get 1 in 5 from a six sided die:

1 = Yes
2 to 5 = No
6 = Reroll

Cheers, Wayne
__________________
Wayne
wwhitney is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 07-06-2018, 09:48 AM   #10
JerseyDIYguy
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 242
Caution - Math Geek alert:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fractal
of course with 5 dice, anything adding up to 26 or more would be a 1/5 chance... but still. people won't believe the results and will mess them up.
Actually, the odds of five 6 sided dice adding up to 26 or more is only about 1 in 62. What you really need is ten sided dice. Then any time you roll a 1 or 2 you place a dark tile. So yeah, random aint easy - it requires special tools
Attached Images
 
__________________
Warren

Last edited by JerseyDIYguy; 07-06-2018 at 09:55 AM.
JerseyDIYguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 07-06-2018, 07:23 PM   #11
smifwal
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 1,610
That would be a sight to see, a Forman rolling dice hollering out dark or light
__________________
Shawn
smifwal is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 07-06-2018, 08:51 PM   #12
workhurts
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 462
For something like that , weighted random would have been cool. Like more light at the shallow end and darker towards the deep or something like that.

Mind you they could have really flipped it around and done light at the deep end and dark at the shallow end. Thats a lawsuit waiting to happen.
__________________
Charlie
workhurts is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 07-06-2018, 09:30 PM   #13
Davy
Moderator -- Mud Man
 
Davy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Princeton,Tx.- Dallas area
Posts: 33,510
Way too many dark tiles in my opinion. Even with less dark tiles, there's bound to be tiles too close together here and there.

I'm surprised Dave didn't holler at the installers from the balcony" put a dark one there, no, not there, over there".
.
__________________
Davy

www.davystephenstile.com
Davy is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 07-06-2018, 10:12 PM   #14
Tool Guy - Kg
Moderator -- Wisconsin Kitchen & Bath Remodeler
 
Tool Guy - Kg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Oak Creek, WI
Posts: 22,834
Quote:
Originally Posted by ddmoit
Should have used a die. Roll a six, place a dark blue tile.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fractal
problem is that's 1 out of 6 not 1 out of 5. and people
Dave, you said earlier:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fractal
These workers were given boxes of light blue and dark blue tiles, at I'm going to guess, a ratio of 5 light to 1 dark.
...so the ratio is 5 light to 1 dark, or 5:1. 5 boxes of light tiles to every 1 box of dark tiles. There are six tiles within the ration. A six-sided diie like Dan suggested would be spot on...unless I'm missing something.





Quote:
Originally Posted by smifwal
That would be a sight to see, a Forman rolling dice hollering out dark or light
THAT.....would be funny! And some wise guys would occassionally yell, "BINGO" when a dark tile was called.
__________________
Tonto Goldstein... but my friends call me Bubba

Help an awesome summer camp!
Tool Guy - Kg is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Stonetooling.com   Tile-Assn.com   National Gypsum Permabase


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
just some random pics Jerry L A Tile Professionals' Hangout 8 05-17-2007 06:32 PM
Is random really random? tonya499 Tile Forum/Advice Board 5 10-21-2006 06:58 PM
Random pictures Cami A The Mud Box 99 06-25-2003 01:30 PM
Random Update Cami A The Mud Box 31 06-08-2003 08:20 AM
Random slate mikkyle Tile Forum/Advice Board 4 12-23-2002 11:04 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:06 PM.


Sponsors

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2018 John Bridge & Associates, LLC