The MathematicalFunction Computation Handbook pp 157214  Cite as
Random numbers
Abstract

Numbers in computers, whether integer or floatingpoint, are rational numbers. Such numbers can only approximate mathematical real numbers, and therefore, truly random numbers cannot be produced by any computer algorithm.

Most algorithms for generation of ‘random’ numbers produce a sequence of almostalwaysdifferent values that eventually repeats. The length of that sequence is called the period. By contrast, a stream of truly random numbers has occasional repetitions, and is never periodic.

Software for randomnumber generation often contains subtle dependencies upon the behavior, precision, and range of integer and floatingpoint arithmetic.
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