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At least this is IEEE's viewpoint, if you read their recent article (front page) published in IEEE spectrum, September 2011. In a nutshell, they claim that hardware technology using Intel chips is better than software architecture to generate / simulate random numbers. See one of their prior articles at http://spectrum.ieee.org/computing/hardware/intel-makes-a-digital-c....
I strongly disagree with this point of view. I believe that IEEE has only investigated "stupid" random generators available in Excel and some programming languages, and concluded, based on these highly flawed random generators with well known biases, that mathematical random generators are poor.
In my opinion, you can't beat a random digit generator where the k-th digit generated by your algorithm is the k-th digit of a number of the form a + b + c +... where a, b, c are well chosen transcendental numbers that are linearly independent over the set of rational numbers. Take for instance a = log(63), b = cos(5,678), c = PI +SQRT(58), and you get a great random generator! Of course, if you can get transcendental numbers that can be approximated very fast (e.g. PI), you not only get a great random generator, but one that can be implemented very efficiently, and beat random generators that are dependent on hardware. I agree that the seed for your generator should be either hardware-dependent, or better, derived from an external source of randomness (e.g. a mix of digits extracted from 10,000 stock prices, extracted in real time).
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Read about the new random number generator that we propose, at http://www.analyticbridge.com/profiles/blogs/new-state-of-the-art-r...
It solves all the problems.
I suggest to IEEE's member to read for example the following book:
Simulation, Fourth Edition (Statistical Modeling and Decision Science) by Sheldon M. Ross
...their assertion is really naive.
Why not use stock prices (the last decimal) for random number generation? You just pick up 300 stocks with highest volume, use cloud technology to get the 300 prices delayed by only one second, and use last digits of stock prices as random numbers.
Interestingly, you could also use these prices in a lottery setting - the more correct digits you guess, the bigger payout you earn. Such a lottery would not be illegal in many states, since (ironically) it is not based on "pure chance", but instead you could say that it is based on using great statistical algorithms in order to win. Also, you don't have any control over the winning digits (which are publicly published), making this lottery scheme legit.
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