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kadaf

Random numbers, different platforms

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Hello! Does anyone know of a simple random number generator (in C/C++), which have the following properties: - Always generating the same sequence of numbers, independent of the architecture it's running on. - Good randomness from a statistical point of view is not that important. It just has to generate numbers which are "kind of" random. As far as I know rand() is not guaranteed to work the same way on all platforms and architectures, not even the common ones (correct me if I'm wrong). I need it to generate levels for a cross-platform game, as you probably have guessed :) Thanks in advance! -Rasmus

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If you don't want to include boost, and you don't care about statistical randomness, you can implement a linear congruential generator very easily.


namespace {
const uint32 kA = 1664525;
const uint32 kB = 1013904223;
uint32 gSeed;
}

void seedRand(uint32 seed) { gSeed = seed; }
uint32 genRand() {
gSeed = kA * gSeed + kB;
return gSeed;
}



Some values of kA and kB are better than others... Plenty of research out there. However, no LCG is going to be statistically good; you wouldn't want to use this for security reasons or gambling type stuff (where people are putting down $$$).

Benefits of LCG: trivial and fast. And it'll be cross-platform, and repeatable if everyone uses the same initial seed.

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If you use an LCG (which is reasonable), remember that the first few bits and the last few bits are the least random. So if you are ok with getting 16-bit random numbers, I would return (short int)(seed>>8), or something like that.

If you decide you need a better random generator, a Mersenne twister might be a good option.

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Quote:
Original post by alvaro
If you decide you need a better random generator, a Mersenne twister might be a good option.


Which happens to be one of the generators provided by boost::random. [wink]

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Another kind of RNG (which can also easily be implemented in hardware) is an LFSR:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linear_feedback_shift_register

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Hey, thanks for all the responses! :)

I decided to implement a Mersenne twister from scratch as described in the article, and it works like a charm.

Maybe it would be smarter just to use the boost one, but I try to only add external library dependencies if it's absolutely necesary.

Thanks again!

-Rasmus

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