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/* ---------------------------------------------------------------------
* Numenta Platform for Intelligent Computing (NuPIC)
* Copyright (C) 2013, Numenta, Inc. Unless you have an agreement
* with Numenta, Inc., for a separate license for this software code, the
* following terms and conditions apply:
* This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify
* it under the terms of the GNU Affero Public License version 3 as
* published by the Free Software Foundation.
* This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
* but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
* See the GNU Affero Public License for more details.
* You should have received a copy of the GNU Affero Public License
* along with this program. If not, see
* ---------------------------------------------------------------------
/** @file
Random Number Generator interface
#include <algorithm>
#include <cstdlib>
#include <string>
#include <utility>
#include <vector>
#include <nupic/proto/RandomProto.capnp.h>
#include <nupic/types/Serializable.hpp>
#include <nupic/types/Types.hpp>
#include <nupic/utils/Log.hpp>
typedef NTA_UInt64 (*RandomSeedFuncPtr)();
namespace nupic {
* @b Responsibility
* Provides standardized random number generation for the NuPIC Runtime Engine.
* Seed can be logged in one run and then set in another.
* @b Rationale
* Makes it possible to reproduce tests that are driven by random number
* generation.
* @b Description
* Functionality is similar to the standard random() function that is provided
* by C.
* Each Random object is a random number generator. There are three ways of
* creating one:
* 1) explicit seed
* Random rng(seed);
* 2) self-seeded
* Random rng;
* 3) named generator -- normally self-seeded, but seed may be
* set explicitly through an environment variable
* Random rng("level2TP");
* If NTA_RANDOM_DEBUG is set, this object will log its self-seed
* The seed can be explicitly set through NTA_RANDOM_SEED_level2TP
* Good self-seeds are generated by an internal global random number generator.
* This global rng is seeded from the current time, but its seed may be
* overridden with NTA_RANDOM_SEED
* Automated tests that use random numbers should normally use named generators.
* This allows them to get a different seed each time, but also allows
* reproducibility in the case that a test failure is triggered by a particular
* seed.
* Random should not be used if cryptographic strength is required (e.g. for
* generating a challenge in an authentication scheme).
* @todo Add ability to specify different rng algorithms.
class RandomImpl;
class Random : public Serializable<RandomProto> {
* Retrieve the seeder. If seeder not set, allocates the
* singleton and and initializes the seeder.
static RandomSeedFuncPtr getSeeder();
Random(UInt64 seed = 0);
// support copy constructor and operator= -- these require non-default
// implementations because of the impl_ pointer.
// They do a deep copy of impl_ so that an RNG and its copy generate the
// same set of numbers.
Random(const Random &);
Random &operator=(const Random &);
// write serialized data
using Serializable::write;
void write(RandomProto::Builder &proto) const override;
// read and deserialize data
using Serializable::read;
void read(RandomProto::Reader &proto) override;
// return a value uniformly distributed between 0 and max-1
UInt32 getUInt32(UInt32 max = MAX32);
UInt64 getUInt64(UInt64 max = MAX64);
// return a double uniformly distributed on 0...1.0
Real64 getReal64();
// populate choices with a random selection of nChoices elements from
// population. throws exception when nPopulation < nChoices
// templated functions must be defined in header
template <typename T>
void sample(T population[], UInt32 nPopulation, T choices[],
UInt32 nChoices) {
if (nChoices == 0) {
if (nChoices > nPopulation) {
NTA_THROW << "population size must be greater than number of choices";
UInt32 nextChoice = 0;
for (UInt32 i = 0; i < nPopulation; ++i) {
if (getUInt32(nPopulation - i) < (nChoices - nextChoice)) {
choices[nextChoice] = population[i];
if (nextChoice == nChoices) {
// randomly shuffle the elements
template <class RandomAccessIterator>
void shuffle(RandomAccessIterator first, RandomAccessIterator last) {
UInt n = last - first;
while (first != last) {
// Pick a random position between the current and the end to swap the
// current element with.
UInt i = getUInt32(n);
std::swap(*first, *(first + i));
// Move to the next element and decrement the number of possible
// positions remaining.
// for STL compatibility
UInt32 operator()(UInt32 n = MAX32) { return getUInt32(n); }
// normally used for debugging only
UInt64 getSeed() { return seed_; }
// for STL
typedef UInt32 argument_type;
typedef UInt32 result_type;
result_type max() { return MAX32; }
result_type min() { return 0; }
static const UInt32 MAX32;
static const UInt64 MAX64;
bool operator==(const Random &other) const;
inline bool operator!=(const Random &other) const {
return !operator==(other);
// called by the plugin framework so that plugins
// get the "global" seeder
static void initSeeder(const RandomSeedFuncPtr r);
static void shutdown();
// each "universe" (application/plugin/python module) has its own instance,
// but the instance should be NULL in all but one
static Random *theInstanceP_;
// seeder_ is a function called by the constructor to get new random seeds
// If not set when we call Random constructor, then the singleton is allocated
// and seeder_ is set to a function that uses our singleton
// initFromPlatformServices can also be used to initialize the seeder_
static RandomSeedFuncPtr seeder_;
void reseed(UInt64 seed);
RandomImpl *impl_;
UInt64 seed_;
friend class RandomTest;
friend std::ostream &operator<<(std::ostream &, const Random &);
friend std::istream &operator>>(std::istream &, Random &);
friend NTA_UInt64 GetRandomSeed();
// serialization/deserialization
std::ostream &operator<<(std::ostream &, const Random &);
std::istream &operator>>(std::istream &, Random &);
// This function returns seeds from the Random singleton in our
// "universe" (application, plugin, python module). If, when the
// Random constructor is called, seeder_ is NULL, then seeder_ is
// set to this function. The plugin framework can override this
// behavior by explicitly setting the seeder to the RandomSeeder
// function provided by the application.
NTA_UInt64 GetRandomSeed();
} // namespace nupic
#endif // NTA_RANDOM_HPP
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