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Random Class

Represents a pseudo-random number generator, a device that produces a sequence of numbers that meet certain statistical requirements for randomness.

Namespace: System
Assembly: mscorlib (in mscorlib.dll)

[SerializableAttribute] 
[ComVisibleAttribute(true)] 
public ref class Random
/** @attribute SerializableAttribute() */ 
/** @attribute ComVisibleAttribute(true) */ 
public class Random
SerializableAttribute 
ComVisibleAttribute(true) 
public class Random
Not applicable.

Pseudo-random numbers are chosen with equal probability from a finite set of numbers. The chosen numbers are not completely random because a definite mathematical algorithm is used to select them, but they are sufficiently random for practical purposes. The current implementation of the Random class is based on Donald E. Knuth's subtractive random number generator algorithm. For more information, see D. E. Knuth. "The Art of Computer Programming, volume 2: Seminumerical Algorithms". Addison-Wesley, Reading, MA, second edition, 1981.

The random number generation starts from a seed value. If the same seed is used repeatedly, the same series of numbers is generated. One way to produce different sequences is to make the seed value time-dependent, thereby producing a different series with each new instance of Random. By default, the parameterless constructor of the Random class uses the system clock to generate its seed value, while its parameterized constructor can take an Int32 value based on the number of ticks in the current time.

However, because the clock has finite resolution, creating different Random objects in close succession creates random number generators that produce identical sequences of random numbers. This problem can be avoided by creating a single Random object rather than multiple ones.

To improve performance, create one Random to generate many random numbers over time, instead of repeatedly creating a new Random to generate one random number.

To generate a cryptographically secure random number suitable for creating a random password, for example, use a class derived from System.Security.Cryptography.RandomNumberGenerator such as System.Security.Cryptography.RNGCryptoServiceProvider.

Notes to Inheritors: In the .NET Framework versions 1.0 and 1.1, a minimum implementation of a class derived from Random required overriding the Sample method to define a new or modified algorithm for generating random numbers. The derived class could then rely on the base class implementation of the Random.Next, Random.Next(Int32), Random.Next(Int32,Int32), NextBytes, and NextDouble methods to call the derived class implementation of the Sample method. In the .NET Framework version 2.0 and later, the behavior of the Random.Next, Random.Next(Int32,Int32), and NextBytes methods have changed so that these methods do not necessarily call the derived class implementation of the Sample method. As a result, classes derived from Random that target the .NET Framework 2.0 and later should also override these three methods.

The following code example creates Random objects with different overloads of the class constructor and generates sequences of random integers and doubles from the objects.

// Example of the Random class constructors and Random::NextDouble( ) 
// method.
using namespace System;
using namespace System::Threading;

// Generate random numbers from the specified Random object.
void RunIntNDoubleRandoms( Random^ randObj )
{
   
   // Generate the first six random integers.
   for ( int j = 0; j < 6; j++ )
      Console::Write( " {0,10} ", randObj->Next() );
   Console::WriteLine();
   
   // Generate the first six random doubles.
   for ( int j = 0; j < 6; j++ )
      Console::Write( " {0:F8} ", randObj->NextDouble() );
   Console::WriteLine();
}


// Create a Random object with the specified seed.
void FixedSeedRandoms( int seed )
{
   Console::WriteLine( "\nRandom numbers from a Random object with seed = {0}:", seed );
   Random^ fixRand = gcnew Random( seed );
   RunIntNDoubleRandoms( fixRand );
}


// Create a random object with a timer-generated seed.
void AutoSeedRandoms()
{
   
   // Wait to allow the timer to advance.
   Thread::Sleep( 1 );
   Console::WriteLine( "\nRandom numbers from a Random object "
   "with an auto-generated seed:" );
   Random^ autoRand = gcnew Random;
   RunIntNDoubleRandoms( autoRand );
}

int main()
{
   Console::WriteLine( "This example of the Random class constructors and Random"
   "::NextDouble( ) \ngenerates the following output.\n" );
   Console::WriteLine( "Create Random objects, and then generate and "
   "display six integers and \nsix doubles from each." );
   FixedSeedRandoms( 123 );
   FixedSeedRandoms( 123 );
   FixedSeedRandoms( 456 );
   FixedSeedRandoms( 456 );
   AutoSeedRandoms();
   AutoSeedRandoms();
   AutoSeedRandoms();
}

/*
This example of the Random class constructors and Random::NextDouble( )
generates the following output.

Create Random objects, and then generate and display six integers and
six doubles from each.

Random numbers from a Random object with seed = 123:
 2114319875  1949518561  1596751841  1742987178  1586516133   103755708
 0.01700087  0.14935942  0.19470390  0.63008947  0.90976122  0.49519146

Random numbers from a Random object with seed = 123:
 2114319875  1949518561  1596751841  1742987178  1586516133   103755708
 0.01700087  0.14935942  0.19470390  0.63008947  0.90976122  0.49519146

Random numbers from a Random object with seed = 456:
 2044805024  1323311594  1087799997  1907260840   179380355   120870348
 0.21988117  0.21026556  0.39236514  0.42420498  0.24102703  0.47310170

Random numbers from a Random object with seed = 456:
 2044805024  1323311594  1087799997  1907260840   179380355   120870348
 0.21988117  0.21026556  0.39236514  0.42420498  0.24102703  0.47310170

Random numbers from a Random object with an auto-generated seed:
 1624372556  1894939458   302472229   588108304    23919954  1085111949
 0.14595512  0.30162298  0.92267372  0.55707657  0.25430079  0.74143239

Random numbers from a Random object with an auto-generated seed:
 2105952511  1753605347   280739490   876793040  1129567796   524571616
 0.62652210  0.31846701  0.15984073  0.24458755  0.62160607  0.54857684

Random numbers from a Random object with an auto-generated seed:
  440048819  1612271236   259006751  1165477776    87731991  2111514930
 0.10708907  0.33531104  0.39700773  0.93209853  0.98891135  0.35572129
*/

Any public static (Shared in Visual Basic) members of this type are thread safe. Any instance members are not guaranteed to be thread safe.

Windows 98, Windows Server 2000 SP4, Windows CE, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows Mobile for Pocket PC, Windows Mobile for Smartphone, Windows Server 2003, Windows XP Media Center Edition, Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, Windows XP SP2, Windows XP Starter Edition

The Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0 is supported on Windows Vista, Microsoft Windows XP SP2, and Windows Server 2003 SP1.

.NET Framework

Supported in: 3.0, 2.0, 1.1, 1.0

.NET Compact Framework

Supported in: 2.0, 1.0

XNA Framework

Supported in: 1.0
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