# Documentation

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## Multiple Streams

MATLAB® software includes generator algorithms that allow you to create multiple independent random number streams. The `RandStream.create` factory method allows you to create three streams that have the same generator algorithm and seed value but are statistically independent.

```[s1,s2,s3]=RandStream.create('mlfg6331_64','NumStreams',3) s1 = mlfg6331_64 random stream StreamIndex: 1 NumStreams: 3 Seed: 0 NormalTransform: Ziggurat s2 = mlfg6331_64 random stream StreamIndex: 2 NumStreams: 3 Seed: 0 NormalTransform: Ziggurat s3 = mlfg6331_64 random stream StreamIndex: 3 NumStreams: 3 Seed: 0 NormalTransform: Ziggurat```

As evidence of independence, you can see that these streams are largely uncorrelated.

```r1=rand(s1,100000,1); r2=rand(s2,100000,1); r3=rand(s3,100000,1); corrcoef([r1,r2,r3]) ans = 1.0000 -0.0017 -0.0010 -0.0017 1.0000 -0.0050 -0.0010 -0.0050 1.0000```

By using different seeds, you can create streams that return different values and act separately from one another.

```s1=RandStream('mt19937ar','seed',1); s2=RandStream('mt19937ar','seed',2); s3=RandStream('mt19937ar','seed',3); ```

Seed values must be integers between 0 and ${2}^{32}-1$. With different seeds, streams typically return values that are uncorrelated.

```r1=rand(s1,100000,1); r2=rand(s2,100000,1); r3=rand(s3,100000,1); corrcoef([r1,r2,r3]) ans = 1.0000 0.0030 0.0045 0.0030 1.0000 -0.0015 0.0045 -0.0015 1.0000```

For generator types that do not explicitly support independent streams, different seeds provide a method to create multiple streams. However, using a generator specifically designed for multiple independent streams is a better option, as the statistical properties across streams are better understood.

Depending on the application, it might be useful to create only some of the streams in a set of independent streams. The `StreamIndex` property returns the index of a specified stream from a set of factory-generated streams.

```numLabs=256; labIndex=4; s1=RandStream.create('mlfg6331_64', 'NumStreams',numLabs,'StreamIndices',labIndex) s1= mlfg6331_64 random stream StreamIndex: 4 NumStreams: 256 Seed: 0 NormalTransform: Ziggurat```

Multiple streams, since they are statistically independent, can be used to verify the precision of a simulation. For example, a set of independent streams can be used to repeat a Monte Carlo simulation several times in different MATLAB sessions or on different processors and determine the variance in the results. This makes multiple streams useful in large-scale parallel simulations.

### Note

Not all generators algorithms support multiple streams. See the table of generator algorithms in Choosing a Random Number Generator for a summary of generator properties.

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