rand


function
<cstdlib>
int rand ( void );

Generate random number

Returns a pseudo-random integral number in the range 0 to RAND_MAX.

This number is generated by an algorithm that returns a sequence of apparently non-related numbers each time it is called. This algorithm uses a seed to generate the series, which should be initialized to some distinctive value using srand.

RAND_MAX is a constant defined in <cstdlib>. Its default value may vary between implementations but it is granted to be at least 32767.

A typical way to generate pseudo-random numbers in a determined range using rand is to use the modulo of the returned value by the range span and add the initial value of the range:

( value % 100 ) is in the range 0 to 99
( value % 100 + 1 ) is in the range 1 to 100
( value % 30 + 1985 ) is in the range 1985 to 2014

Notice though that this modulo operation does not generate a truly uniformly distributed random number in the span (since in most cases lower numbers are slightly more likely), but it is generally a good approximation for short spans.

Parameters

(none)

Return Value

An integer value between 0 and RAND_MAX.

Example

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/* rand example: guess the number */
#include <stdio.h>
#include <stdlib.h>
#include <time.h>

int main ()
{
  int iSecret, iGuess;

  /* initialize random seed: */
  srand ( time(NULL) );

  /* generate secret number: */
  iSecret = rand() % 10 + 1;

  do {
    printf ("Guess the number (1 to 10): ");
    scanf ("%d",&iGuess);
    if (iSecret<iGuess) puts ("The secret number is lower");
    else if (iSecret>iGuess) puts ("The secret number is higher");
  } while (iSecret!=iGuess);

  puts ("Congratulations!");
  return 0;
}


Output:

Guess the number (1 to 10): 5
The secret number is higher
Guess the number (1 to 10): 8
The secret number is lower
Guess the number (1 to 10): 7
Congratulations!


In this example, the random seed is initialized to a value representing the second in which the program is executed (time is defined in the header <ctime>). This way to initialize the seed is generally a good enough option for most randoming needs.

See also