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10.2.4 The Cliff Random Number Generator

The Cliff random number generator is a very simple random number generator that “passes the noise sphere test for randomness by showing no structure.” It is easily programmed, in less than 10 lines of awk code:

# cliff_rand.awk --- generate Cliff random numbers

BEGIN { _cliff_seed = 0.1 }

function cliff_rand()
    _cliff_seed = (100 * log(_cliff_seed)) % 1
    if (_cliff_seed < 0)
        _cliff_seed = - _cliff_seed
    return _cliff_seed

This algorithm requires an initial “seed” of 0.1. Each new value uses the current seed as input for the calculation. If the built-in rand() function (see Numeric Functions) isn’t random enough, you might try using this function instead.