When we talk of **randomness** in general, it’s not something that shouldn’t possess **repeitition**, it is something that outputs data that is **unpredictable**.

**Random numbers** are very essential when it comes to **cryptography**, **MonteCarlo simulations** etc. For every time you log in to a service, make an online transaction, **random numbers** from the system are invoked in order to secure the process(**encryption**).

But our computers, specifically the **CPU**, are number-crunching beasts, that blindly follow the instructions that are fed to them. So they are virtually inapt to inherently pick any numbers. That’s where human intervention steps in.

Now there are two ways. The **fast** yet **inefficient** way and the **slow** yet near **perfect** way.

The former pertains to **PRNGs(Pseudo Random Number Generators)** and the latter to **TRNGs(True Random Number Generators)**. Check out this link if you wish to try out some **RNG** algorithms.

Most operating systems(**linux**, **windows** etc.) have a built-in **pool of randomness**. from which random nubers for various uses are sampled. The entropy pool that consists of **entropy(randomness)** collected from various sources in the computer. Eg: The **CPU/GPU** thermals, timing of user **keystokes**, **mouse** movement, cpu scheduling and other sensors that provide **unpredictable input**.

When **random numbers** are generated, the **entropy** of the pool is diminished since some of the information about the entropy pool is now given out. So it has to be replenished by a process called **stirring**.

**Intel’s Ivy Bridge** family of processors have an integrated feature viz. **secure key**, which refers to a dedicated random number generator inside them, composing a special instruction set called **RDRAND** that returns random numbers.

Coming to RNG’s in **Julia**. There is a good support for **Pseudo random number** generation in Julia.

Inherently Julia uses the **Mersenne Twister** library for random number generation. Besides MersenneTwister, Julia also provides the **RandomDevice** type, which wraps over the **operating system provided entropy**.

#### Random data generation

#### rand() Function

**Syntax :**

rand([rng=GLOBAL_RNG], [set..], [dimensions...])

Picks a random element or array of random elements from the set of values specified by **set**, where **set** can be :

- an indexable
**collection**(for example 1:9 or (‘x’, “y”, :z)), - an
**AbstractDict**or**AbstractSet**object, - a
**String** - a type(eg :
**struct**)

**Example:**

`# Generate 2 random numbers of type Int ` `rand(` `Int` `, ` `2` `) ` ` ` `# Randomly choose a number between 3 and 5 ` `rand((` `3` `, ` `5` `)) ` ` ` `# Create a 2x3 array ` `# that contains random floating type values ` `rand(Float64, (` `2` `, ` `3` `)) ` |

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#### rand!() Function

**RandomNumbers.jl** is a library that provides extended support for random number generation.

**Syntax:**

rand!([rng=GLOBAL_RNG], Arr, [set=eltype(Arr)])

It populates the array **Arr** with random values. If **set** is specified, the values are picked randomly from set. It simply copies the random values generated from **rand()** to Arr but without allocating a new array.

Example:

`# Import the library ` `using Random ` ` ` `# Using the MersenneTwister rng ` `# Here 1234 is a seed value ` `rng ` `=` `MersenneTwister(` `1234` `); ` ` ` `# Create an Array containing zeros ` `Arr ` `=` `zeros(` `5` `) ` ` ` `# Populate Arr with random values ` `# Generated by our rng ` `rand !(rng, Arr) ` |

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#### bitrand() Function

**Syntax : **

bitrand([rng=GLOBAL_RNG], [dimensions])

It generates an Array (of type **BitArray**) containing random **boolean** values(**0/1**).

**Example:**

`# Use the MersenneTwister rng ` `rng ` `=` `MersenneTwister(` `1234` `); ` ` ` `# Generate 10 random bits ` `bitrand(rng, ` `10` `) ` |

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#### randn() Function

**Syntax:**

randn([rng=GLOBAL_RNG], [T=Float64], [dimensions])

It generates a **normally-distributed random number** of type T with **mean 0** and **standard deviation 1**. It will optionally generate an array of normally-distributed random numbers if the dimensions parameter is given.

**Example:**

`# Import the library ` `using Random ` ` ` `# Using the rng ` `rng ` `=` `MersenneTwister(` `1234` `); ` ` ` `# Generate a complex number ` `# based normal distribution ` `randn(rng, ComplexF64) ` ` ` `randn(rng, ComplexF32, (` `2` `, ` `3` `)) ` |

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#### randstring() Function

**Syntax:**

randstring([rng=GLOBAL_RNG], [characters], [length])

It creates a random string of size **length**, consisting of **characters**, which defaults to the set of upper- and lower-case letters and the digits 0-9. The optional **rng** argument specifies a random number generator.

Example:

`# Import the library ` `using Random ` ` ` `# Seed the rng ` `Random.seed !(` `0` `); ` ` ` `# Return an random string ` `randstring() ` ` ` `# Return a random string ` `# of size 6, made from characters a-z ` `randstring(MersenneTwister(` `0` `), ` `'a'` `:` `'z'` `, ` `6` `) ` ` ` `# To generate random DNA sequence ` `randstring(` `"ACGT"` `) ` |

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#### randperm() Function

**Synatx:**

randperm([rng=GLOBAL_RNG], n::Integer)

Construct a random permutation of length n.

**Examples:**

`# Import the library ` `using Random ` ` ` `# Using the rng ` `rng ` `=` `MersenneTwister(` `1234` `); ` ` ` `# Generate a random permutation of size 4 ` `randperm(rng, ` `4` `) ` ` ` ` ` `# Store the generated values in Arr ` `randperm !(rng, Vector{` `Int` `}(undef, ` `4` `)) ` |

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#### RandomDevice() Function

**Syntax :**

RandomDevice()

Creates a **RandomDevice** RNG object that generates a stream of random numbers for which the entropy is obtained from the **operating system**.

#### Sampler() function

**Syntax:**

Sampler(rng, x, repetition)

It returns a **sampler object** that can be used to generate random values from rng for **x**.

When **Sampler(rng, x, repetition)**, **rand(rng, sp)** is used to draw random values, repetition can be Val(1) or Val(Inf).

**Example :**

`# import the library ` `using Random ` ` ` `# Define the rng ` `rng ` `=` `RandomDevice() ` ` ` `# Define the sampler ` `s ` `=` `Random.Sampler(rng, Val(` `1` `)) ` |

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### Generating values from a type

For a type **T**, it’s assumed that if **rand(T)** is defined, an object of type **T** will be produced. The default sampler for types is **SamplerType**.

**Syntax:**

rand(rng::AbstractRNG, ::Random.SamplerType{T})

Defines random generation for values of type T

This is particulary useful in cases like the classical example of a **dice** that gives a random number.

`# declare a dice type ` `struct Dice ` ` ` `n::` `Int` `# number on the dice ` `end ` ` ` `# Define the rand function to generate ` `# random numbers between 1-6 ` `Random.rand(rng::AbstractRNG, ::Random.SamplerType{Dice}) ` `=` `Dice(rand(rng, ` `1` `:` `6` `)) ` ` ` `# generate random number of sides ` `# based on the default rng ` `rand(Dice) ` ` ` `# generate random number of sides ` `# based on the MersenneTwister rng ` `rand(MersenneTwister(` `0` `), Dice) ` |

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## Recommended Posts:

- Random Numbers Ecosystem in Julia - The Natural Side
- Julia end Keyword | Marking end of blocks in Julia
- Julia function keyword | Create user-defined functions in Julia
- Julia continue Keyword | Continue iterating to next value of a loop in Julia
- Julia break Keyword | Exiting from a loop in Julia
- Julia local Keyword | Creating a local variable in Julia
- Julia global Keyword | Creating a global variable in Julia
- Getting ceiling value of x in Julia - ceil() Method
- Getting floor value of x in Julia - floor() Method
- Getting the minimum value from a list in Julia - min() Method
- Package Management in Julia
- Visualisation in Julia
- Accessing element at a specific index in Julia - getindex() Method
- Get size of string in Julia - sizeof() Method
- Reverse a string in Julia - reverse() Method
- Fill an array with specific values in Julia | Array fill() method
- Accessing each element of a collection in Julia - foreach() Method
- Counting number of elements in an array in Julia - count() Method
- Julia Language Introduction
- Checking for true values in an array in Julia - any() and all() Methods

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