Last night I read Keith Schwarz's article about Vose's alias method for simulating rolls of a loaded die. It's worth reading the whole thing, but here's the tl;dr: draw a bar chart of the probabilities of landing on the various sides, then throw darts at it (by picking X and Y coordinates uniformly at random). If you hit a bar with your dart, choose that side. That works OK, but has very bad worst-case behaviour; fortunately, it's possible to cut up the taller bars and stack them on top of the shorter bars in such a way that the area covered is exactly a (1/n) * n rectangle. Constructing this rectangular "dartboard" can be done in O(n) time; thereafter, simulating a die roll can be done in O(1) time (generate the dart's coordinates; which vertical slice did the dart land in, and is it in the shorter bar on the bottom or the "alias" that's been stacked above it?).
"Gosh," I thought, "what an elegant and efficient algorithm! I wonder if anyone has put an implementation of it on CPAN?"
So I looked. And, as far as I can tell, they haven't.
So I wrote this implementation on the bus this morning.