[PD] help_random/seed

Andrew Faraday jbturgid at hotmail.com
Sun Jul 5 11:12:36 CEST 2009

Just an idea, but if the hardware random number generators use a jittery oscillator etc. Why not use [noise~] and [snapshot~] followed by some arithmetic and [int] you could build what I assume would be more random than the [random] box.
> Date: Sun, 5 Jul 2009 00:22:51 -0400
> From: martin.peach at sympatico.ca
> To: mmoserbooth at gmail.com
> CC: pd-list at iem.at; zmoelnig at iem.at
> Subject: Re: [PD] help_random/seed
> Mike Moser-Booth wrote:
> > IOhannes m zmölnig wrote:
> >> Frank Barknecht wrote:
> >>> Hallo,
> >>> cem guney hat gesagt: // cem guney wrote:
> >>>
> >>>> just started studying PD. going through the control examples i've 
> >>>> been stuck trying to figure out the function of the message, seed 
> >>>> 123 in the
> >>>> example for "random". not sure if i figured out the explanation below,
> >>>>
> >>>> Seeds are kept locally so that if two Randoms are seeded the same 
> >>>> they will have the same output (or indeed you can seed the same one 
> >>>> twice to repeat the output.)
> >>>
> >>> Yes, that's true, you understood correctly.
> >>>
> >>> Oh, wait, that's what's in the help-file! What exactly is cloudy there?
> >>
> >> probably the simple fact, that [random] despite of it's name does not 
> >> really produce random numbers.
> >> mostly when computers present you a "random" number, then this number 
> >> will only appear to be random, but in reality is just calculated as 
> >> the next item of a totally deterministic series.
> >> (as a matter of fact, a new random number is usually generated by 
> >> simple taking the last number and then applying some more or less 
> >> complicated transformation on this number). this method is known as 
> >> "pseudo random".
> >>
> >> you can set the "starting point" of the series by setting the "seed", 
> >> which is the first number of the random sequence). since all [random] 
> >> object use the same algorithm to calculate the next pseudo-random 
> >> number, they will all end up with the same sequence if they all start 
> >> with the same "seed".
> >> by default Pd uses different seeds for all [random] objects so they 
> >> all appear to work independently.
> > In addition, it's probably worth mentioning that Pd will produce the 
> > same seeds for each [random] every time you load the patch. So while 
> > they appear to work independently, you will still get the same results 
> > each time you first run a patch after loading it.
> > 
> A lot of the latest cpus have hardware random number generators that 
> work by having a jittery oscillator sample the cpu clock, or something 
> along those lines. (Such a jittery oscillator is assumed to have 
> normally distributed transition times.)
> It would be nice if the random source could be independently specified 
> for all the pd objects that use random numbers, since the count of 
> unreachable combinations when using the standard deterministic chaos 
> generators is infinite.
> Martin
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