Concepts inRandomized algorithms and pseudorandom numbers
Randomness
Randomness has somewhat differing meanings as used in various fields. It also has common meanings which are connected to the notion of predictability (or lack thereof) of events. The Oxford English Dictionary defines 'random' as "Having no definite aim or purpose; not sent or guided in a particular direction; made, done, occurring, etc. , without method or conscious choice; haphazard.
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Pseudorandomness
A pseudorandom process is a process that appears to be random but is not. Pseudorandom sequences typically exhibit statistical randomness while being generated by an entirely deterministic causal process. Such a process is easier to produce than a genuinely random one, and has the benefit that it can be used again and again to produce exactly the same numbers - useful for testing and fixing software.
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Randomized algorithm
A randomized algorithm is an algorithm which employs a degree of randomness as part of its logic. The algorithm typically uses uniformly random bits as an auxiliary input to guide its behavior, in the hope of achieving good performance in the "average case" over all possible choices of random bits. Formally, the algorithm's performance will be a random variable determined by the random bits; thus either the running time, or the output (or both) are random variables.
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Pseudorandom number generator
A pseudorandom number generator (PRNG), also known as a deterministic random bit generator (DRBG), is an algorithm for generating a sequence of numbers that approximates the properties of random numbers. The sequence is not truly random in that it is completely determined by a relatively small set of initial values, called the PRNG's state, which includes a truly random seed.
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Cryptography
Cryptography is the practice and study of techniques for secure communication in the presence of third parties. More generally, it is about constructing and analyzing protocols that overcome the influence of adversaries and which are related to various aspects in information security such as data confidentiality, data integrity, and authentication. Modern cryptography intersects the disciplines of mathematics, computer science, and electrical engineering.
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Random seed
A random seed (or seed state, or just seed) is a number used to initialize a pseudorandom number generator. The choice of a good random seed is crucial in the field of computer security. When a secret encryption key is pseudorandomly generated, having the seed will allow one to obtain the key.
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Sorting algorithm
In computer science, a sorting algorithm is an algorithm that puts elements of a list in a certain order. The most-used orders are numerical order and lexicographical order. Efficient sorting is important for optimizing the use of other algorithms that require sorted lists to work correctly; it is also often useful for canonicalizing data and for producing human-readable output.
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Routing
Routing is the process of selecting paths in a network along which to send network traffic. Routing is performed for many kinds of networks, including the telephone network, electronic data networks (such as the Internet), and transportation networks. This article is concerned primarily with routing in electronic data networks using packet switching technology.
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