random number generators for calc

Andrew Douglas Pitonyak andrew at pitonyak.org
Thu Nov 29 06:12:28 PST 2012

On 11/28/2012 05:41 PM, Kohei Yoshida wrote:
>     Not sure I understand. My suggestion is that boost::mt19937 is the
>     only underlying generator algorithm (generating int's) which is then
>     transformed to get RAND() and RANDBETWEEN(i,j). Yet both are simple
>     uniform distributions but the user might need Normal distributed
>     random variables and then RAND() is of little use. So a function like
>     RANDNORMAL() which generates N(0,1) (still using boost::mt19937)
>     random numbers would be a useful addition, wouldn't it?
> Ah ok. I think I mis-understood. Bear with me, as I'm not that versed 
> with random number generation algorithms at the moment.
> Well, my position is that, since you know the subject matter very 
> well, and if you think it's a useful addition then I'm with you.
> My only concern is that, we try to be compliant with ODF formula 
> specification, and I'm not sure how adding a custom function (that 
> only we understand) would affect that compliance and interoperability 
> with other ODF generators.  I still want to encourage adding new and 
> useful functions; I just want to know what sort of things we need to 
> be aware of when adding our own custom functions. Eike, do you have 
> any insight on this?
> Kohei
A few thoughts:

Breaking ODF compatibility is probably a bad thing. I did not check, but 
I assume that the normal distribution is either specified or assumed for 

I assume that introducing new functions "breaks" ODF, or at least means 
that other systems that support ODF will not support what is done. As 
such, is there any way that random functions with different 
distributions can be implemented in an addin / extension?

Andrew Pitonyak
My Macro Document: http://www.pitonyak.org/AndrewMacro.odt
Info:  http://www.pitonyak.org/oo.php

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