|P is for Practical|
Random Math Questionby Limbic~Region (Chancellor)
|on Oct 10, 2005 at 21:27 UTC||Need Help??|
Limbic~Region has asked for the
wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:
I popped into #perl today to catch the tail end of a question with Dominus and another chatter regarding randomizing a list of 100_000 elements. Dominus stated he would be surprised if any language had any built-in random number generator suitable for randomizing 100K elements because of the amount of entropy needed.
Well I wanted to be argumentative as it had been weeks since I used IRC. Once the other chatter was satisfied with pseudo-randomness, I said that repeating the randomization on larger and smaller scales should result in an overall random list. I was thinking a reverse bin sort and here is the process I outlined. (Assume we have 64 elements in our list but only enough entropy to truly randomize 8).
At this point, I was no longer interested in arguing for the sake of arguing (too bad my high school didn't have a debate team). I conceded the point of "truly" random but asked Dominus if he had any way of proving his assertion. I figured that it would be nearly impossible to tell the difference between a "truly" randomization of the list and one that resulted from many of my re-orderings. In other words, I was happy to trade linear time and only processing the list once for missing bits of randomness. Unfortunately, he didn't know of one at that moment. So I have two questions.
* - For some definition of acceptable
Cheers - L~R