[Numpy-discussion] additions to random: innovative names vs. algorithm specification

Robert Kern robert.kern@gmail....
Thu Jul 29 16:21:15 CDT 2010

On Thu, Jul 29, 2010 at 16:03, Alan G Isaac <alan.isaac@gmail.com> wrote:
> On 7/29/2010 4:37 PM, Robert Kern wrote:
>> this MATLAB API is deprecated
> The old API has been replaced by a constructor that still takes a
> string literal argument to determine the PRNG algorithm.
> See the bottom of
> http://www.mathworks.com/access/helpdesk/help/techdoc/math/brt5wsv.html
> This approach would match my suggestion.

Since your suggestion was so vague and your citation talks about
multiple things, yes, I guess so. It's certainly not what Chuck
interpreted your suggestion to be. "Matching your suggestion" is not
the same thing as communicating clearly.

> Even an module approach would
> match my suggestion (one module per underlying PRNG algorithm).  I just
> think it will pay off to avoid simply multiplying function names
> (e.g., introducing znormal this year, and whatever new name next year).

New sampling algorithms aren't invented *all* that often.

That said, it would be reasonable to add arguments to the RandomState
constructor to allow it to select different algorithms for each of the

Robert Kern

"I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless
enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as
though it had an underlying truth."
  -- Umberto Eco

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