Using Domino for Machine Learning

Domino is a company that makes software for data scientists to help them create, run, and manage analytics models. Domino also provides a cloud platform that allows data scientists to collaborate on projects with other team members. The company has recently announced an expansion of its products to include a platform for machine learning.

Lily Hevesh’s grandparents had a classic 28-piece set of dominoes, and she started playing with them when she was nine. She loved the idea of setting them up in a straight or curved line, flicking the first one, and watching the whole row fall, domino by domino. Today, the 20-year-old is a professional domino artist, creating mind-blowing setups for movies, TV shows, and events—including an album launch for pop star Katy Perry.

She says her process is similar to an engineering-design process. She starts with a theme or purpose, then brainstorms images and words that might help her communicate it. Once she has a clear vision, she gets to work building the foundation. “When you’re creating something that is really visually striking, you have to think of it from all different angles and perspectives,” she explains. “So you have to build it and test it, and then you tweak it until it looks just right.”

The domino game originated in Italy and France in the 1700s and was introduced into England by French prisoners toward the end of that century. By the 1860s, the game had spread worldwide. There are many variants of the game, but all involve scoring points by laying tiles edge to edge in a chain, such that each adjacent tile shows a number or forms some specified total. If a player plays a tile that causes the exposed ends of all subsequent dominoes to be identical (or, in the case of doubles, the sum of the numbers on the exposed ends is a multiple of five), that player is said to have “stitched up” the ends.

Typically, play stops when a single player is out of dominoes or when a player reaches some predetermined point for scoring—e.g., 100 or 200 points in a given number of rounds—whichever occurs first. The winner is the player whose remaining dominoes have a combined value that is the highest. Doubles count as one or two, and the number of dots on each side of a double-blank may be counted as one or two as well: i.e., a 6-6 counts as 6.

Nosocomial infections—infections patients acquire in hospitals or other health care settings—are a common example of the domino effect. These infections can often be traced back to a medical professional failing to wash their hands properly while working with a patient, or even just not paying attention to what they’re doing and accidentally touching a patient who already has an infection. While some of these infections may be prevented by improved hand-washing techniques, the domino effect can also be caused by poor hospital planning and design or just simply by a lack of resources.