[Numpy-discussion] NEP: Random Number Generator Policy

Robert Kern robert.kern at gmail.com
Mon Jun 4 02:18:21 EDT 2018

On Sun, Jun 3, 2018 at 11:07 PM Kevin Sheppard <kevin.k.sheppard at gmail.com>

> The seed() discussion seems unnecessary.  StableRandom will need to have a
> method to set/get state
> which can be used by any project that needs to get reproducible numbers
> from the module-level generator.
> While this is an implementation detail, many generators have much smaller
> states than MT19937
> (a few uint64s). So this is easy enough to hard code where needed.

The question isn't about what .seed() methods look like on the new
generators. Rather, it's about the behavior when code calls
numpy.random.seed() then numpy.random.uniform() (or one of the other
convenience aliases). Specifically, there will be a period of time when
RandomState is merely deprecated but is still expected to be there and be
fully backwards-compatible to give reproducible streams. Does that
expectation extend to code that uses numpy.random.seed() to get that
reproducibility? What happens with code that just calls
numpy.random.uniform(): does it use RandomState or the new code?

These questions are probably in-scope for this NEP, but I'd like to get
some kind of consensus on the rest first, as the higher level decisions
will tell us more about what we want to do for numpy.random.seed().

Robert Kern
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