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Some comments on C. S. Wallace's random number generators

Richard P. Brent
Arxiv ID: 1005.2314Last updated: 7/5/2021
We outline some of Chris Wallace's contributions to pseudo-random number generation. In particular, we consider his idea for generating normally distributed variates without relying on a source of uniform random numbers, and compare it with more conventional methods for generating normal random numbers. Implementations of Wallace's idea can be very fast (approximately as fast as good uniform generators). We discuss the statistical quality of the output, and mention how certain pitfalls can be avoided.

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