Thu, 31 Aug 2006

New CRAN package 'random' uploaded

A few days ago, I uploaded random to CRAN where it now has its own summary page. It has also been announced on the r-help and r-packages lists.

The random packages provides convenient access to the non-deterministic random numbers provided by the site created by Mads Haahr.

While certain hardware and software solutions that provide access to non-deterministic random-numbers exist, few if any are portable across all the hardware platforms R supports. Retrieving non-deterministic random numbers may be beneficial to seed parallel simulations with independent draws, to obtain portable initializations for other RNGs, to validate simulation with non-deterministic RNGs, or simply for fun and experimentations.

The package is fairly straightforward thanks to R's ability to read directly from remote URLs, and to's nice CGI interface. Included are two pdf file ('vignettes' in R parlance). The first, random-intro, discusses the packages and provides some (currently just initial) tests using dieharder, a thorough test suite for RNGs. The second, random-essay is a 'transcriped' version of Mads essay.

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