The RandStream
class
allows you to create a random number stream. This is useful for several
reasons. For example, you might want to generate random values without
affecting the state of the global stream. You might want separate
sources of randomness in a simulation. Or you may need to use a different
generator algorithm than the one MATLAB^{®} software uses at startup.
With the RandStream
constructor,
you can create your own stream, set the writable properties, and use
it to generate random numbers. You can control the stream you create
the same way you control the global stream. You can even replace the
global stream with the stream you create.
To create a stream, use the RandStream
constructor.
myStream=RandStream('mlfg6331_64'); rand(myStream,1,5) ans = 0.6530 0.8147 0.7167 0.8615 0.0764
The random stream myStream
acts separately
from the global stream. The functions rand
, randn
, and randi
will
continue to draw from the global stream, and will not affect the results
of the RandStream
methods rand
, randn
and randi
applied
to myStream
.
You can make myStream
the global stream using
the RandStream.setGlobalStream
method.
RandStream.setGlobalStream(myStream) RandStream.getGlobalStream ans = mlfg6331_64 random stream (current global stream) Seed: 0 NormalTransform: Ziggurat RandStream.getGlobalStream==myStream ans = 1
You may want to return to a previous part of a simulation. A
random stream can be controlled by having it jump to fixed checkpoints,
called substreams. The Substream
property allows
you to jump back and forth among multiple substreams. To use the Substream
property,
create a stream using a generator that supports substreams. (See Choosing
a Random Number Generator for
a list of generator algorithms and their properties.)
stream=RandStream('mlfg6331_64'); RandStream.setGlobalStream(stream)
The initial value of Substream
is 1.
stream.Substream ans = 1
Substreams are useful in serial computation. Substreams can recreate all or part of a simulation by returning to a particular checkpoint in stream. For example, they can be used in loops.
for i=1:5 stream.Substream=i; rand(1,i) end ans = 0.6530 ans = 0.3364 0.8265 ans = 0.9539 0.6446 0.4913 ans = 0.0244 0.5134 0.6305 0.6534 ans = 0.3323 0.9296 0.5767 0.1233 0.6934
Each of these substreams can reproduce its loop iteration. For example, you can return to the 5th substream. The result will return the same values as the 5th output above.
stream.Substream=5; rand(1,5) ans = 0.3323 0.9296 0.5767 0.1233 0.6934
MATLAB software offers six generator algorithms. The following
table summarizes the key properties of the available generator algorithms
and the keywords used to create them. To return a list of all the
available generator algorithms, use the RandStream.list
method.
Generator algorithms
Keyword | Generator | Multiple Stream and Substream Support | Approximate Period In Full Precision |
---|---|---|---|
mt19937ar | Mersenne twister (default) | No | $${2}^{19937}-1$$ |
dsfmt19937 | SIMD-oriented fast Mersenne twister | No | $${2}^{19937}-1$$ |
mcg16807 | Multiplicative congruential generator | No | $${2}^{31}-2$$ |
mlfg6331_64 | Multiplicative lagged Fibonacci generator | Yes | $${2}^{124}$$ |
mrg32k3a | Combined multiple recursive generator | Yes | $${2}^{127}$$ |
shr3cong | Shift-register generator summed with linear congruential generator | No | $${2}^{64}$$ |
swb2712 | Modified subtract with borrow generator | No | $${2}^{1492}$$ |
Some of the generators (mcg16807
, shr3cong
, swb2712
)
provide for backwards compatibility with earlier versions of MATLAB.
Two generators (mrg32k3a
, mlfg6331_64
)
provide explicit support for parallel random number generation. The
remaining generators (mt19937ar
, dsfmt19937
)
are designed primarily for sequential applications. Depending on the
application, some generators may be faster or return values with more
precision.
Another reason for the choice of generators has to do with applications. All pseudorandom number generators are based on deterministic algorithms, and all will fail a sufficiently specific statistical test for randomness. One way to check the results of a Monte Carlo simulation is to rerun the simulation with two or more different generator algorithms, and MATLAB software's choice of generators provide you with the means to do that. Although it is unlikely that your results will differ by more than Monte Carlo sampling error when using different generators, there are examples in the literature where this kind of validation has turned up flaws in a particular generator algorithm (see [11] for an example).
mcg16807
A 32-bit multiplicative congruential generator, as described
in [12], with multiplier $$a={7}^{5}$$, modulo $$m={2}^{31}-1$$. This generator has a period
of $${2}^{31}-2$$ and does not support multiple
streams or substreams. Each U(0,1)
value is created
using a single 32-bit integer from the generator; the possible values
are all multiples of $${({2}^{31}-1)}^{-1}$$ strictly within
the interval (0,1)
. The randn
algorithm
used by default for mcg16807
streams is the polar
algorithm (described in [1]).
Note: This generator is identical to the one used beginning in MATLAB Version
4 by both the rand
and randn
functions,
activated using rand('seed',s)
or randn('seed',s)
.
mlfg6331_64
A 64-bit multiplicative lagged Fibonacci generator, as described
in [8], with lags $$l=63$$, $$k=31$$. This generator is similar to
the MLFG implemented in the SPRNG package. It has a period of approximately $${2}^{124}$$. It supports up to $${2}^{61}$$ parallel streams, via parameterization,
and $${2}^{51}$$ substreams each of length $${2}^{72}$$. Each U(0,1)
value
is created using one 64-bit integer from the generator; the possible
values are all multiples of $${2}^{-53}$$ strictly
within the interval (0,1). The randn
algorithm
used by default for mlfg6331_64
streams is the
ziggurat algorithm [5],
but with the mlfg6331_64
generator underneath.
mrg32k3a
A 32-bit combined multiple recursive generator, as described
in [3]. This generator
is similar to the CMRG implemented in the RngStreams package. It has
a period of $${2}^{127}$$, and supports up to $${2}^{63}$$ parallel streams, via sequence
splitting, and $${2}^{51}$$ substreams each
of length $${2}^{76}$$. Each U(0,1)
value
is created using two 32-bit integers from the generator; the possible
values are multiples of $${2}^{-53}$$ strictly within
the interval (0,1). The randn
algorithm used
by default for mrg32k3a
streams is the ziggurat
algorithm [5],
but with the mrg32k3a
generator underneath.
mt19937ar
The Mersenne Twister, as described in [9],
has period $${2}^{19937}-1$$ and each U(0,1) value is created
using two 32-bit integers. The possible values are multiples of $${2}^{-53}$$ in the interval (0,1). This
generator does not support multiple streams or substreams. The randn
algorithm
used by default for mt19937ar
streams is the ziggurat
algorithm [5],
but with the mt19937ar
generator underneath. Note:
This generator is identical to the one used by the rand
function
beginning in MATLAB Version 7, activated by rand('twister',s)
.
dsfmt19937
The Double precision SIMD-oriented Fast Mersenne Twister, as described in [10], is a faster implementation of the Mersenne Twister algorithm. The period is $${2}^{19937}-1$$ and the possible values are multiples of $${2}^{-52}$$ in the interval (0,1). The generator produces double precision values in [1,2) natively, which are transformed to create U(0,1) values. This generator does not support multiple streams or substreams.
shr3cong
Marsaglia's SHR3 shift-register generator summed with a linear
congruential generator with multiplier $$a=69069$$, addend $$b=1234567$$, and modulus $${2}^{-32}$$. SHR3 is a 3-shift-register
generator defined as $$u=u(I+{L}^{13})(I+{R}^{17})(I+{L}^{5})$$, where $$I$$ is the identity operator, $$L$$ is the left shift operator,
and R is the right shift operator. The combined generator
(the SHR3 part is described in [5])
has a period of approximately $${2}^{64}$$.
This generator does not support multiple streams or substreams. Each
U(0,1) value is created using one 32-bit integer from the generator;
the possible values are all multiples of $${2}^{-32}$$ strictly within the interval
(0,1). The randn
algorithm used by default for shr3cong
streams
is the earlier form of the ziggurat algorithm [7], but
with the shr3cong
generator underneath. This generator
is identical to the one used by the randn
function
beginning in MATLAB Version 5, activated using randn('state',s)
.
swb2712
A modified Subtract-with-Borrow generator, as described in [6]. This
generator is similar to an additive lagged Fibonacci generator with
lags 27 and 12, but is modified to have a much longer period of approximately $${2}^{1492}$$. The generator works natively
in double precision to create U(0,1) values, and all values in the
open interval (0,1) are possible. The randn
algorithm
used by default for swb2712
streams is the ziggurat
algorithm [5],
but with the swb2712
generator underneath. Note:
This generator is identical to the one used by the rand function beginning
in MATLAB Version 5, activated using rand('state',s)
.
Inversion
Computes a normal random variate by applying the standard normal inverse cumulative distribution function to a uniform random variate. Exactly one uniform value is consumed per normal value.
Polar
The polar rejection algorithm, as described in [1]. Approximately 1.27 uniform values are consumed per normal value, on average.
Ziggurat
The ziggurat algorithm, as described in [5]. Approximately 2.02 uniform values are consumed per normal value, on average.
[1] Devroye, L. Non-Uniform Random Variate Generation, Springer-Verlag, 1986.
[2] L'Ecuyer, P. and R. Simard. "TestU01: A C Library for Empirical Testing of Random Number Generators," ACM Transactions on Mathematical Software, 33(4): Article 22. 2007.
[3] L'Ecuyer, P., R. Simard, E. J. Chen, and W. D. Kelton. "An Objected-Oriented Random-Number Package with Many Long Streams and Substreams." Operations Research, 50(6):1073–1075. 2002.
[4] Marsaglia, G. "Random numbers for
C: The END?" Usenet posting to sci.stat.math. 1999. Available
online at http://groups.google.com/group/sci.crypt/browse_thread/
.
thread/ca8682a4658a124d/
[5] Marsaglia G., and W. W. Tsang. "The
ziggurat method for generating random variables." Journal
of Statistical Software, 5:1–7. 2000. Available
online at http://www.jstatsoft.org/v05/i08
.
[6] Marsaglia, G., and A. Zaman. "A new class of random number generators." Annals of Applied Probability 1(3):462–480. 1991.
[7] Marsaglia, G., and W. W. Tsang. "A fast, easily implemented method for sampling from decreasing or symmetric unimodal density functions." SIAM J.Sci.Stat.Comput. 5(2):349–359. 1984.
[8] Mascagni, M., and A. Srinivasan. "Parameterizing Parallel Multiplicative Lagged-Fibonacci Generators." Parallel Computing, 30: 899–916. 2004.
[9] Matsumoto, M., and T. Nishimura."Mersenne Twister: A 623-Dimensionally Equidistributed Uniform Pseudorandom Number Generator." ACM Transactions on Modeling and Computer Simulation, 8(1):3–30. 1998. Available online at
[10] Matsumoto, M., and M. Saito."A
PRNG Specialized in Double Precision Floating Point Numbers Using
an Affine Transition." Monte Carlo and Quasi-Monte
Carlo Methods 2008, 10.1007/978-3-642-04107-5_38. 2009.
Available online at http://www.math.sci.hiroshima-u.ac.jp/~%20m-mat/MT/ARTICLES/dSFMT.pdf
.
[11] Moler, C.B. Numerical Computing
with MATLAB. SIAM, 2004. Available online at http://www.mathworks.com/moler
[12] Park, S.K., and K.W. Miller. "Random Number Generators: Good Ones Are Hard to Find." Communications of the ACM, 31(10):1192–1201. 1998.