Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Generating random numbers
The parameters shown directly below the Distribution list change depending on the
type of distribution you select. As Figure 17-13 shows, when you select Uniform in
the Distribution list, you can specify the beginning and ending points of the
distribution in the Between and And text boxes.
Figure 17-13 The Parameters area in the Random Number Generation dialog box
changes to reflect the distribution type you select.
Distributing random numbers uniformly
This option asks you to specify two numbers between which (and including) to generate a
set of random numbers. It works much the same way as the RANDBETWEEN function,
generating an evenly distributed set of real numbers. You can use this option as a more
convenient alternative to RAND if you want endpoints other than 0 and 1 or if you want sets of
numbers to be based on the same seed value.
Distributing random numbers normally
Normal distribution has the following characteristics:
One particular value, the mean, is more likely to occur than any other value.
Values greater than the mean are as likely to occur as values less than it.
Values close to the mean are more likely to occur than values distant from the mean.
To generate normally distributed random numbers, you specify two parameters: the mean
and the standard deviation. The standard deviation is the average absolute difference
between the random numbers and the mean. (Approximately 68 percent of the values in a
normal distribution fall within one standard deviation of the mean.)