[Numpy-discussion] Adopt Mersenne Twister 64bit?

Nathaniel Smith njs at pobox.com
Tue Mar 12 17:25:44 EDT 2013

On Mon, Mar 11, 2013 at 9:46 AM, Robert Kern <robert.kern at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Sun, Mar 10, 2013 at 6:12 PM, Siu Kwan Lam <siu at continuum.io> wrote:
>> My suggestion to overcome (1) and (2) is to allow the user to select between
>> the two implementations (and possibly different algorithms in the future).
>> If user does not provide a choice, we use the MT19937-32 by default.
>>         numpy.random.set_state("MT19937_64", …)   # choose the 64-bit
>> implementation
> Most likely, the different PRNGs should be different subclasses of
> RandomState. The module-level convenience API should probably be left
> alone. If you need to control the PRNG that you are using, you really
> need to be passing around a RandomState instance and not relying on
> reseeding the shared global instance.


> Aside: I really wish we hadn't
> exposed `set_state()` in the module API. It's an attractive nuisance.

And our own test suite is a serious offender in this regard, we have
tests that fail if you run the test suite in a non-default order...

I wonder if we dare deprecate it? The whole idea of a global random
state is just a bad one, like every other sort of global shared state.
But it's one that's deeply baked into a lot of scientific programmers
expectations about how APIs work...


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