generating random tuples in python

per perfreem at
Tue Apr 21 06:04:25 CEST 2009

On Apr 20, 11:08 pm, Steven D'Aprano
<ste... at> wrote:
> On Mon, 20 Apr 2009 11:39:35 -0700, per wrote:
> > hi all,
> > i am generating a list of random tuples of numbers between 0 and 1 using
> > the rand() function, as follows:
> > for i in range(0, n):
> >   rand_tuple = (rand(), rand(), rand()) mylist.append(rand_tuple)
> > when i generate this list, some of the random tuples might be very close
> > to each other, numerically. for example, i might get:
> [...]
> > how can i maximize the amount of "numeric distance" between the elements
> > of
> > this list, but still make sure that all the tuples have numbers strictly
> > between 0 and 1 (inclusive)?
> Well, the only way to *maximise* the distance between the elements is to
> set them to (0.0, 0.5, 1.0).
> > in other words i want the list of random numbers to be arbitrarily
> > different (which is why i am using rand()) but as different from other
> > tuples in the list as possible.
> That means that the numbers you are generating will no longer be
> uniformly distributed, they will be biased. That's okay, but you need to
> describe *how* you want them biased. What precisely do you mean by
> "maximizing the distance"?
> For example, here's one strategy: you need three random numbers, so
> divide the complete range 0-1 into three: generate three random numbers
> between 0 and 1/3.0, called x, y, z, and return [x, 1/3.0 + y, 2/3.0 + z].
> You might even decide to shuffle the list before returning them.
> But note that you might still happen to get (say) [0.332, 0.334, 0.668]
> or similar. That's the thing with randomness.
> --
> Steven

i realize my example in the original post was misleading. i dont want
to maximize the difference between individual members of a single
tuple -- i want to maximize the difference between distinct tuples. in
other words, it's ok to have (.332, .334, .38), as long as the other
tuple is, say, (.52, .6, .9) which is very difference from (.332, .
334, .38).  i want the member of a given tuple to be arbitrary, e.g.
something like (rand(), rand(), rand()) but that the tuples be very
different from each other.

to be more formal by very different, i would be happy if they were
maximally distant in ordinary euclidean space... so if you just plot
the 3-tuples on x, y, z i want them to all be very different from each
other.  i realize this is obviously biased and that the tuples are not
uniformly distributed -- that's exactly what i want...

any ideas on how to go about this?

thank you.

More information about the Python-list mailing list