[Numpy-discussion] Re: random number facilities in numarray and main Python libs

Faheem Mitha faheem at email.unc.edu
Tue Sep 7 22:47:09 EDT 2004

On Tue, 07 Sep 2004 16:35:11 -0700, Robert Kern <rkern at ucsd.edu> wrote:
> Faheem Mitha wrote:
> [snip]
>> Are the random number facilities provided by numarray.random_array 
>> superior to those provided to those provided by the random module in the 
>> Python library? They certainly seem more extensive, and I like the 
>> interface better.
>> If so, why not replace the random module by the equivalent functionality 
>> from numarray.random_array, and have everyone use the same random number 
>> generator? Or is this impossible for practical reasons?
> numarray.random_array can generate arrays full of random numbers. 
> Standard Python's random does not and will not until numarray is part of 
> the standard library. Standard Python's random also uses the Mersenne 
> Twister algorithm which is, by most accounts, superior to RANLIB's 
> algorithm, so I for one would object to replacing it with numarray's 
> code.  :-)
> I do intend to implement the Mersenne Twister algorithm for SciPy's PRNG 
> facilities (on some unspecified weekend). I will also try to code 
> something up for numarray, too.

Does SciPy have its own random num facilities too? It would easier to
just consolidate all these efforts, I would have thought.

>> By the way, what is the name of the pseudo-random number generator being 
>> used? I see that the code is in Packages/RandomArray2/Src, but could not 
>> see where the name of the generator is mentioned.
> <URL:http://orion.math.iastate.edu/burkardt/c_src/ranlib/ranlib_base.txt>
> documents the base algorithm.

Thanks for the reference.                                        Faheem.

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