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Random Number Generation
Article ID: 86523 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q86523
In Microsoft Excel, the RAND function uses the following iterative method to calculate pseudo-random numbers:
The first random number:
random_number=fractional part of (9821 * r + 0.211327), where r = .5
Successive random numbers:
random_number=fractional part of (9821 * r + 0.211327), where r = the previous random number
This formula will provide up to 1 million different numbers.
Computers cannot generate truly random numbers. Instead, they return a series of numbers based on a mathematical relationship that simulates "randomness." The "randomness" exhibited by the numbers is a function of the mathematical formula used by the random number generator.
In Microsoft Excel for Windows, adding randomize=1 to the [Microsoft Excel] section of the appropriate .INI file for your version of Microsoft Excel will cause "r" to be determined from the system clock (which adds a further degree of randomness to the numbers generated).
For this version The name of your of Microsoft Excel .INI file is this ----------------------------------------- 5.0 EXCEL5.INI 4.0 EXCEL4.INI 3.0 EXCEL.INI
Note that there is no such setting with Microsoft Excel for OS/2 or Microsoft Excel for the Macintosh.
NOTE: Excel 5.0 defaults to the RANDOMIZE=1 setting. Previous versions of Microsoft Excel defaulted to RANDOMIZE=0.
Article ID: 86523 - Last Review: November 16, 2006 - Revision: 1.4