Random numbers and random names

One of the basic things in making  good name generators is random numbers. But how to create random numbers, random names and how is true randomness defined?

True randomness

At Princeton University radomness is defined as:  randomnessthe quality of lacking any predictable order or plan.

100% unpredictability and true randomness can only be generated from genuine chaotic systems.  A chaotic system is defined by it’s unpredictability lack of plan. Therefore you need a chaotic system  to guarantee true randomness.

In nature we find chaotic systems in the atmosphere or in the universe. True randomness can be generated or ‘extracted’ from these systems in form of atmospheric noise of the atmosphere or the background radiation  from the universe.

In scientific work and research  true randomness is of course crucial to avoid wrong conclusions.  Also when it come to gaming for money true randomness is very important to guarantee random results and credibility to the owner of the game.

To generate true random  numbers visit the random.org random number generator, which generate random numbers from the randomness of atmospheric noise.

Read much more about Random number generation at the Wikipedia.

Pseudo randomness

Randomness and random numbers generated from computers are not truly random, but are referred to as pseudo random numbers.
Computers are predictable by design, and mathematical  formulas and algorithms on which computers base their random calculations are both predictable and logical by nature.

The consequence  is that random numbers generated by computer in theory is predictable and therefore only pseudo random. In practical use though, it  takes  many resources and computer power to predict computer created pseudo random numbers.

Read more about pseudo randomness and pseudo random algoritms at  pseudo random number generation at the Wikipedia. Or this article about  pseudo random numbers and determinism in computer languages and software.

Pseudo-random Numbers and Determinism

In practical use the random numbers from a computer random generator in sufficient for most purposes. So random name generators is  usually based on pseudo random numbers from a programming language. I for example use JavaScripts build in random functions to create my random numbers.

From random numbers to random names

The random number generator is the motor in all name generators.  The random number generator gives surprising and unpredictable names, when used correct.

As an example look at the random name generator, which generates random American names. 1000 boy names, 1000 girls names and 1000 surnames are combined with random algorithms and forms over4 billion random names:

The math behind the random name generator:

1000 girl names x 1000 surnames  = 1,000,000 unique girl names

1000 boy names x 1000 surnames  = 1,000,000 unique boy names

And by sometimes adding a middle name:

1000 girl name x 1000 boy middle names x 1000 surnames  = 1,000,000,000 unique girl names

1000 girl name x 1000 girl middle names x 1000 surnames  = 1,000,000,000 unique girl names

1000 boy name 1000 boy middle names x 1000 surnames  = 1,000,000,000 unique boy names

1000 boy name 1000 boy middle names x 1000 surnames  = 1,000,000,000 unique boy names

In total 4.2 billion unique and random names

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One Response to Random numbers and random names

  1. Pingback: Choose random person « Name Generators Blog

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