# HELP w/ Random Numbers

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Write a single C statement that will print a random number from the set 2, 4, 6, 8, 10.

I know how to write the rand() function for consecutive numbers and scaling those numbers into a certain range, but for a set??  Help please!

Thanks!!
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Top Expert 2006

Commented:
keep the set sorted ...
generate random number as usual
bump the random number to to the next highest element of the set

e.g. suppose your random number is in r and set is in array set[]
i=0;
while ( i < MAX && r < set[i] )
i++;

r = set[i];

MAX is the cardianlity of the set
Top Expert 2005

Commented:
int num = random();

while ((num & 7) > 4)      num >> 1;

return (((num & 7) + 1) << 1);

Top Expert 2005

Commented:
sorry, previous post not a single statement

return (((random() % 5) + 1) << 1);

Commented:
bret   thats  ingenious...
though random should be rand:
return (((rand() % 5) + 1) << 1);

Commented:
Here set is an array which contains your random numbers

first you generate the random number and then map it your Set

int n = rand()%SET_MAX ;

return Set[n] ;

Dennis
Top Expert 2005

Commented:
> though random should be rand:

I explicitly used random() rather than rand() because rand() is a very poor
random number generator.  Extracts from the man pages:

RANDOM(3)               System Library Functions Manual              RANDOM(3)

NAME
random, srandom, srandomdev, initstate, setstate - better random number
generator; routines for changing generators

------------

RAND(3)                 System Library Functions Manual                RAND(3)

NAME
rand, srand, sranddev, rand_r - bad random number generator
...

DESCRIPTION
These interfaces are obsoleted by random(3).

Commented:

There are several good suggestions already.  Here's another solution:

return ((random () %10) & 0xE);

Of course, if the result set is irregular, Sunnycode wins.  :)

Kent

Commented:
re: num >> 1 and similar tricks for multiplying and dividing by two:

Most good compilers, with optimization turned on, will automatically convert i*2 or i/2 into an appropriate shift.  So keep your code lucid by writing num/2 or num * 2, and let the compiler do its job.

Gary
Top Expert 2005

Commented:
Kdo,

((random () %10) & 0xE) can produce 0 and won't produce 10.

Notice that with  (((random() % 5) + 1) << 1),

(random() % 5) produces one of { 0, 1, 2, 3, 4 }

+ 1  maps that set to { 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 }

<< 1 (or * 2)  then produces { 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 }

Commented:

That's what I get for trying to write application code.  ((random () %10) & 0xE) + 1  does the trick.....

The world SHOULD think relative 0 and in octal.  ;)

Kent
Top Expert 2005
Commented:
((random () %10) & 0xE) + 1  produces only odd numbers

Commented:

See?  I'm still trying to think like an application's coder.

((random () %10) & 017) + 2

It makes sense once that "0xE" got removed.  Who ever heard of putting letters where numbers are supposed to go????

;)

Commented:
if you get the number as an int in the range 1 - 5, you could just mulitply by 2
Top Expert 2006

Commented:
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PAQed with A grade to brettmjohnson

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