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Re: Is this really random?

by ColonelPanic (Friar)
on Nov 22, 2012 at 08:39 UTC ( #1005078=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Is this really random?

A simple test:

my $sum = 0; for( 1..10_000_000 ) { $sum++ if coin_toss() eq 'heads'; } print $sum;

The result I got was 5,000,938, meaning heads happened 50.01% of the time. Seems pretty reasonable.

Most people's perceptions of randomness are notoriously faulty. For example, they seriously underestimate the number of times repeated numbers will appear in a sequence.

One suggestion: I think it is clearer to use int() to specify that you want a random integer:

my $index = int rand @coin; return $coin[ $index ];

As your code is written, you are using a floating point number as the array index. This works (because it is converted to integer), but it is a little unusual. You wouldn't write  $array[1.5]

When's the last time you used duct tape on a duct? --Larry Wall
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