generating random numbers in perl

Discussion in 'Perl Misc' started by mahurshi, Mar 23, 2006.

  1. mahurshi

    mahurshi Guest

    i have been trying to generate random numbers in perl
    and so far, i have been partially successful.

    my code is as follows:

    for ($i = 1; $i <= 100; $i++)
    $test = rand(100000);
    printf ("%e\n", $test);

    i am pasting a sample output here:


    as you can see, most of the output is in the order of 10^4 and 10^3

    i was wondering if there is a way to increase the "swing" in the
    of these numbers, so that i can really see a better mix of numbers of
    different magnitudes.

    Mahurshi Akilla
    mahurshi, Mar 23, 2006
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  2. wrote in
    So you want to bias the random number generator?

    The probability of drawing x <= 1000 is 1% and the probability of
    drawing x <= 100 is 0.1%.

    Using the binomial formula, you can easily figure out the expected
    number of draws under 1000 out of 100,000 numbers in 100 draws. Yes,
    that is correct. The expected number of draws less than 1000 out of 100
    draws from [0 .. 100,000) is exactly one.

    Now, if you don't want the numbers to be independently and uniformly
    distributed, then that's a different task. Decide what probability
    distribution you want to use, and use it.

    A. Sinan Unur, Mar 23, 2006
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  3. mahurshi

    xhoster Guest

    It is hard to see why that should not be the case.

    Maybe this would be more to your liking:

    $test = exp(rand()*11.5);

    xhoster, Mar 23, 2006
  4. mahurshi

    mahurshi Guest

    just curious, is there a reason why you picked that ?

    Mahurshi Akilla
    mahurshi, Mar 23, 2006
  5. mahurshi

    xhoster Guest

    I choose exponentiation because it is by far the most natural way to
    generate data that varies over many orders of magnitude. I choose 11.5
    because that puts the maximum value at about 100_000 (exp(11.5) ~
    98715.77), which is close to the maximum value possible under your original

    xhoster, Mar 23, 2006
  6. mahurshi

    Dr.Ruud Guest

    $test = exp rand 11.5;

    perl -e 'printf "%9.3f\n", exp rand 11.5 for 1..20'
    Dr.Ruud, Mar 23, 2006
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