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How do computers make up random numbers?

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  • How do computers make up random numbers?

    How is it possible for a machine with a pre-defined algorythm to come up with truly random numbers? Are there numbers really random, because out of 1,000,000 random numbers between 1 and 10 that were generated, 10 came up 100740 times and 8 came up 99883 times, with the rest of the numbers in between which results in a perfect distribution graph.
    Chen Avinadav
    Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.

    גם אני מאוכזב מסיקור תחרות לתור מוטור של NRG הרשת ע"י מעריב

  • #2
    one of my programming teachers told me it is impossible to write a computer program that generates truly random numbers. There is always order somewhere that takes away the true randomness.

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    • #3
      I once read in a book that the only way to come up with truly random data is from radioactive experiments, where the neutrons (I think) leave the atom at random intervals... not sure if that's right or not, though, but it got me thinking about computers and how they produce random numbers.
      Chen Avinadav
      Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.

      גם אני מאוכזב מסיקור תחרות לתור מוטור של NRG הרשת ע"י מעריב

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      • #4
        They normally seed the algorithms with some sort of timehash, just to get a bit more randomness out of it, but nothing is ever random in a machine of 0s and 1s :|

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        • #5
          So how do we explain PHP's rand() function? Is it really not random?

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          • #6
            It's pseudorandom I think...
            http://directory.google.com/Top/Comp..._Numbers/?tc=1
            Chen Avinadav
            Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.

            גם אני מאוכזב מסיקור תחרות לתור מוטור של NRG הרשת ע"י מעריב

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            • #7
              i use a time stamp as a seed to make my random numbers.
              My Sites :

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              • #8
                But it's not random, since should you request the random number with the same timestamp, you will get the same number...

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by LeeCHeSSS
                  But it's not random, since should you request the random number with the same timestamp, you will get the same number...
                  true. all true.
                  My Sites :

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                  • #10
                    Apparently the Pentium 3 or 4 can measure its own subatomic noise (or something) and generate "truly" random numbers.
                    --filburt1, vBulletin.org/vBulletinTemplates.com moderator
                    Web Design Forums.net: vB Board of the Month
                    vBulletin Mail System (vBMS): webmail for your forum users

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                    • #11
                      Maybe the randomness is better in that case but it's still not really, really random because it still uses some kind of algorithm. Anything that would output the same result given the same input is not really random.
                      Chen Avinadav
                      Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.

                      גם אני מאוכזב מסיקור תחרות לתור מוטור של NRG הרשת ע"י מעריב

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                      • #12
                        If you're brave, try reading http://www.cryptography.com/intelRNG.pdf . It explains how the whole process works.
                        edit: at http://www.eetimes.com/story/OEG19990121S0014 they say that the numbers are "truly" random, but I don't believe that anything in physics or nature is completely random.
                        --filburt1, vBulletin.org/vBulletinTemplates.com moderator
                        Web Design Forums.net: vB Board of the Month
                        vBulletin Mail System (vBMS): webmail for your forum users

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by filburt1
                          Apparently the Pentium 3 or 4 can measure its own subatomic noise (or something) and generate "truly" random numbers.
                          i wonder do they have problem with floating point numbers though
                          My Sites :

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by filburt1
                            If you're brave, try reading http://www.cryptography.com/intelRNG.pdf . It explains how the whole process works.
                            edit: at http://www.eetimes.com/story/OEG19990121S0014 they say that the numbers are "truly" random, but I don't believe that anything in physics or nature is completely random.
                            I'm fairly certain that with radioactive decay the results are random.
                            Chen Avinadav
                            Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.

                            גם אני מאוכזב מסיקור תחרות לתור מוטור של NRG הרשת ע"י מעריב

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                            • #15
                              computers have AI. So they think "uhm, lets do a one, then another one, then a two, then a one"
                              A bullet may have your name on it, but shrapnel is addressed "to whom it may concern"

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