Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Generating random numbers
Generating random numbers using discrete distribution
Use the Discrete Distribution option to create a custom distribution pattern by specifying a
table of possible outcomes along with the probability associated with each outcome. The
probability values must be from 0 to 1, and the sum of the probabilities in the table must
equal 1. To use the Discrete Distribution option, specify the possible outcomes and their
probabilities as a two-column range whose reference is the only parameter used by this
option.
For example, you could create a custom distribution pattern to examine random
snowshovel sales patterns based on a two-column input range: Month Number and Probability
of Snow.
Generating semi-random numbers using patterned distribution
Selecting Patterned in the Distribution list in the Random Number Generation dialog box
generates numbers that are both random and part nonrandom. Selecting the Patterned
option displays the dialog box shown in Figure 17-14.
Figure 17-14 The Patterned option in the Distribution list creates an arithmetic series with
operational repetitions.
You can think of the Patterned option as a fancy Fill Series command. It creates one or
more arithmetic series with optional internal repetitions. For example, to create the series
shown in Figure 17-14, complete the dialog box as shown, requesting two sequences of the
numbers 1 through 10, using a step interval of 3 and repeating each number twice within
each cycle.
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