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2. How obtain random numbers?

Use predefined lists

Not very common. Impractical: one may need 1010 or more numbers for a large simulation.

Use a physical device

Measurement of some random or chaotic physical process. Throw dice, observe turbulence in air flow, observe fluctuations in a lava lamp (yes, really), use radioactivity. Usually difficult to set up, and even more difficult to verify that the distribution is not biased in some way.

Use a computational iterative procedure

Design an algorithm that produces a series of seemingly random numbers given some starting value(s) (seed).

Random number generators, RNGs. Often called pseudo-random number generators to emphasize that the algorithm is really deterministic, although the result is supposed to look random.

Copyright © 2000 Per Kraulis $Date: 2000/12/12 15:46:14 $