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.