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Random Number Generation

This article was previously published under Q86523
Retired KB Content Disclaimer
This article was written about products for which Microsoft no longer offers support. Therefore, this article is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
In Microsoft Excel, the RAND function uses the following iterativemethod 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 aseries of numbers based on a mathematical relationship that simulates"randomness." The "randomness" exhibited by the numbers is a functionof 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 Excelwill cause "r" to be determined from the system clock (which adds a furtherdegree 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 orMicrosoft Excel for the Macintosh.

NOTE: Excel 5.0 defaults to the RANDOMIZE=1 setting. Previous versions ofMicrosoft Excel defaulted to RANDOMIZE=0.
1.0 1.00 1.03 1.04 1.06 1.5 1.50 2.0 2.00 2.01 2.1 2.10 2.2 2.20 2.21 3.0 3.00 4.0 4.00 rand random algorithm Excel

Article ID: 86523 - Last Review: 11/16/2006 04:37:07 - Revision: 1.4

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