[Python-ideas] Globally configurable random number generation
sturla.molden at gmail.com
Mon Sep 14 17:39:42 CEST 2015
On 14/09/15 16:45, Random832 wrote:
>> These functions aren't used widely in scientific computing.
> I don't see how that's relevant, when what I'm talking about is
> "providing an API that switches them from secure mode to
> insecure/deterministic mode"
It is not just a matter of security versus determinism. It is also a
matter of numerical accuracy. The distribution of the output sequence
must be proven and be as close as possible to the distribution of interest.
MT19937 is loved by scientists because it emulates sampling from the
uniform distribution so well. Faster alternatives exist, more secure
alternatives too. But when we simulate a stochastic process we also care
about numerical accuracy. MT19937 is considered state of the art for
It does not seem that the issue of numerical accuracy is appreciated in
this debate. Cryptographers just want random bits that cannot be
predicted. Numerical accuracy is not their primary concern. If you
replace MT19937 with "something more secure" you likely also loose its
usefulness for scientific computing.
More information about the Python-ideas