A random number generator (RNG) is a computer|computational or physical device designed to generate a sequence of numbers or symbols that lack any pattern, i.e. appear random.The many applications of randomness have led to the development of several different methods for generating randomness|random data. Many of these have existed since ancient times, including dice, coin flipping, the shuffling of playing cards, the use of yarrow stalks (by divination) in the I Ching, and many other techniques. Because of the mechanical nature of these techniques, generating large amounts of sufficiently random numbers (important in statistics) required a lot of work and/or time. Thus, results would sometimes be collected and distributed as random number tables. Nowadays, after the advent of computational random number generators, a growing number of government-run lottery|lotteries, and lottery games, are using RNGs instead of more traditional drawing methods. RNGs are also used today to determine the odds of modern slot machines.
Several computational methods for random number generation exist, but often fall short of the goal of true randomness — though they may meet, with varying success, some of the statistical randomness|statistical tests for randomness intended to measure how unpredictable their results are (that is, to what degree their patterns are discernible).
A random number generator (RNG) is a computer|computational or physical device designed to generate a sequence of numbers or symbols that lack any pattern, i.e. appear random.The many applications of randomness have led to the development of several different methods for generating randomness|random data. Many of these have existed since ancient times, including dice, coin flipping, the shuffling of playing cards, the use of yarrow stalks (by divination) in the I Ching, and many other techniques. Because of the mechanical nature of these techniques, generating large amounts of sufficiently random numbers (important in statistics) required a lot of work and/or time. Thus, results would sometimes be collected and distributed as random number tables. Nowadays, after the advent of computational random number generators, a growing number of government-run lottery|lotteries, and lottery games, are using RNGs instead of more traditional drawing methods. RNGs are also used today to determine...