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RANDOM - reference manual online

Pseudo random number generation.

Chapter
stdlib 2.8
random(3erl)                         Erlang Module Definition                        random(3erl)

NAME random - Pseudo random number generation
DESCRIPTION Random number generator. The method is attributed to B.A. Wichmann and I.D.Hill, in 'An efficient and portable pseudo-random number generator', Journal of Applied Statistics. AS183. 1982. Also Byte March 1987. The current algorithm is a modification of the version attributed to Richard A O'Keefe in the standard Prolog library. Every time a random number is requested, a state is used to calculate it, and a new state produced. The state can either be implicit (kept in the process dictionary) or be an explicit argument and return value. In this implementation, the state (the type ran()) consists of a tuple of three integers. It should be noted that this random number generator is not cryptographically strong. If a strong cryptographic random number generator is needed for example crypto:strong_rand_bytes/1 could be used instead. Note: The new and improved rand module should be used instead of this module.
DATA TYPES ran() = {integer(), integer(), integer()} The state.
EXPORTS seed() -> ran() Seeds random number generation with default (fixed) values in the process dictio‐ nary, and returns the old state. seed(A1, A2, A3) -> undefined | ran() Types: A1 = A2 = A3 = integer() Seeds random number generation with integer values in the process dictionary, and returns the old state. One easy way of obtaining a unique value to seed with is to: random:seed(erlang:phash2([node()]), erlang:monotonic_time(), erlang:unique_integer()) See erlang:phash2/1, node/0, erlang:monotonic_time/0, and erlang:unique_inte‐ ger/0) for details. seed(SValue) -> undefined | ran() Types: SValue = {A1, A2, A3} | integer() A1 = A2 = A3 = integer() seed({A1, A2, A3}) is equivalent to seed(A1, A2, A3). seed0() -> ran() Returns the default state. uniform() -> float() Returns a random float uniformly distributed between 0.0 and 1.0, updating the state in the process dictionary. uniform(N) -> integer() >= 1 Types: N = integer() >= 1 Given an integer N >= 1, uniform/1 returns a random integer uniformly distributed between 1 and N, updating the state in the process dictionary. uniform_s(State0) -> {float(), State1} Types: State0 = State1 = ran() Given a state, uniform_s/1returns a random float uniformly distributed between 0.0 and 1.0, and a new state. uniform_s(N, State0) -> {integer(), State1} Types: N = integer() >= 1 State0 = State1 = ran() Given an integer N >= 1 and a state, uniform_s/2 returns a random integer uniformly distributed between 1 and N, and a new state.
NOTE Some of the functions use the process dictionary variable random_seed to remember the cur‐ rent seed. If a process calls uniform/0 or uniform/1 without setting a seed first, seed/0 is called automatically. The implementation changed in R15. Upgrading to R15 will break applications that expect a specific output for a given seed. The output is still deterministic number series, but different compared to releases older than R15. The seed {0,0,0} will, for example, no longer produce a flawed series of only zeros.
Ericsson AB stdlib 2.8 random(3erl)
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