[NumPy-Tickets] [NumPy] #1450: Patch with Ziggurat method for Normal distribution

NumPy Trac numpy-tickets@scipy....
Fri Apr 9 20:18:40 CDT 2010

#1450: Patch with Ziggurat method for Normal distribution
 Reporter:  ilan                 |       Owner:  somebody
     Type:  enhancement          |      Status:  new     
 Priority:  normal               |   Milestone:          
Component:  numpy.random         |     Version:  1.4.0   
 Keywords:  normal distribution  |  
 I've written a patch which replaces the Box-Muller transform
 in numpy/random/mtrand/randomkit.c with the faster Ziggurat method.
 The patch also includes updates to doc-strings which include the
 relevant references:

     Doornik, J.A. (2005), "An Improved Ziggurat Method to Generate Normal
     Random Samples", mimeo, Nuffield College, University of Oxford, and

     Marsaglia, G. and Tsang, W. W. (2000), "The Ziggurat Method for
     Generating Random Variables", Journal of Statistcal Software 5,

     Marsaglia, G. (1964) "Generating a variable from the tail of the
     normal distribution", Technometrics 6, 101-102.

 My patch is based on the support code which J. Doornik has made available
 on his web page (first reference).  I've contacted him, and he has given
 permission to include his code in numpy on the condition that his paper
 is referenced (which the patch does).

 The patch was written against http://svn.scipy.org/svn/numpy/tags/1.4.0,
 and I've just checked to make sure it can still be applied to the
 trunk (revision 8324).  I've tested the patch on Windows, MacOSX, Linux
 and Solaris.

 The speedup is a bit over 2 times, when creating a large number of
 Normal distributed random numbers.  To verify that the method works and
 produces good random numbers, I have:
   * created a large array, using randn()
   * transformed (using the cumulative distribution function) it back to
     uniform distributed random numbers
   * written the data to a large file
   * performed the diehard tests (I used the dieharder program) on the data

 Feel free to hammer the patch.  I hope this patch will make its way
 into numpy soon.

Ticket URL: <http://projects.scipy.org/numpy/ticket/1450>
NumPy <http://projects.scipy.org/numpy>
My example project

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