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Array Shuffler

by zencrypt (Initiate)
on Jan 09, 2001 at 16:09 UTC ( #50655=sourcecode: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??
Category: Fun Stuff
Author/Contact Info
Description: I think too much emphasis is placed on sorting lists. Bubblesort this, and quicksort that, and selection sort something else. But what about random shuffling? I never see any attention given to the opposite of sorting; shuffling! I wrote out some basic code that i think does the trick, but if anyone has any tips on how it can be improved, please let me know. thanks
sub shuffle {
    srand(time ^ ($$ + ($$ << 15))); # For pre-Perl 5.004.

    $r_deck = shift;
    $deck_l = scalar(@$r_deck);

    for ($i=0; $i<$deck_l; $i++) {
        $rand = int(rand($deck_l)); # Find random integer betwen
                                    # 0 and one less than the length
                                    # of the array (deck).

        ($r_deck->[$i], $r_deck->[$rand]) = ($r_deck->[$rand], $r_deck
        # You gotta love Perl, don't you? #
        # Switch their values.            #
Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: Array Shuffler
by ChOas (Curate) on Jan 09, 2001 at 16:24 UTC

    'perldoc -f shuffle' does it like this:
    sub fisher_yates_shuffle { my $array = shift; my $i; for ($i = @$array; --$i; ) { my $j = int rand ($i+1); next if $i == $j; @$array[$i,$j] = @$array[$j,$i]; } }


    print "profeth still\n" if /bird|devil/;
      And for an array of any significant size (~20 elements or more) that 'next if..' line just slows down the algorithm.
        Yup. This was discussed at length here.
Re: Array Shuffler
by OeufMayo (Curate) on Jan 09, 2001 at 16:27 UTC

    You might also want to check this nice node about arrays randomization.

    Cheers, OeufMayo

    PerlMonger::Paris(http => '');</kbd>
Re (tilly) 1: Array Shuffler
by tilly (Archbishop) on Jan 09, 2001 at 17:43 UTC
    For good advice on better ways to initialize srand check out Perl's auto srand() RE: a random sort of list. Modern Perls don't need it. Older ones do. But there is no need to throw away randomness if it might be there.

    Also random shuffles get discussed on this site. In particular there was a thread on how to make the FAQ one more efficient here.

Re: Array Shuffler
by davorg (Chancellor) on Jan 09, 2001 at 16:22 UTC

    (Please learn to use <code> tags around your code.)

    The Fisher-Yates shuffle is usually written like this:

    Update: No, actually it isn't as Dominus points out below. See many other posts in this thread for the correct implementation. I've left my version here as a reminder to myself not to re-invent well-known algorithms on he fly :(

    foreach (0 .. $#array) { my $i = rand @arr; next if $i == $_; @array[$_, $i] = @array[$i, $_]; }

    "Perl makes the fun jobs fun
    and the boring jobs bearable" - me

      Says davorg:
      The Fisher-Yates shuffle is usually written like this:
      No, the Fisher-Yates shuffle is only written that way by people who don't understand what they're doing.

      See the discussion on page 122 of Perl Cookbook for why.

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