Definition: See pseudo-random number generator.
Also known as RNG.
Note: Any computer program is likely to generate pseudo-random numbers, not actually random numbers. This is important when, say, simulations are sensitive to subtle patterns in the "random" numbers or security depends on the numbers being unpredictable.
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Entry modified 3 February 2009.
HTML page formatted Tue Dec 6 16:16:32 2011.
Cite this as:
Paul E. Black, "random number generator", in Dictionary of Algorithms and Data Structures [online], Paul E. Black, ed., U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology. 3 February 2009. (accessed TODAY) Available from: http://www.nist.gov/dads/HTML/randomnumgen.html