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7 Examples of a Random Seed

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A random seed is information that is used to create a set of pseudorandom numbers. Generally speaking, computers are bad at producing random numbers as they are designed to compute predictably. A class of algorithms known as pseudorandom number generators produce numbers that are somewhat random using a random seed as an input. If you use the same random seed, these generators produce predictable results. As such, finding a good source of unpredictable information for a random seed is a common software design problem. The following are examples of random seeds.


Time such as the number of milliseconds since 1970.

User Input

User input such as the movement of a mouse or keyboard timings.


Hardware statistics that are viewed as somewhat random such as fan noise.


Noise from a microphone is a good source of random data.


Combining different types of information such as time, hardware statistics and user input data.

Operating Systems

Operating systems commonly support random numbers by collecting user input and hardware state information. For example, the linux operating system makes this information available in a special file known as /dev/random.

True Random Number Generator

Hardware that can produce a random number based on detection of low-level physical phenomena such as thermal noise.


Random seeds are associated with information security as pseudorandom numbers are required for secure encryption.
It is common for encryption keys to be generated using random numbers such that they can be determined if you know the random seed.
Certain types of random seed aren't particularly secure as they are predictable. For example, seeds based solely on time.
Beyond security, random numbers are commonly used by algorithms, statistical analysis and to implement variability into games.
Overview: Random Seed
Information that is used to initialize a pseudorandom number generator.
Related Concepts
Next: Pseudorandom
More about algorithms:
Backward Induction
Brute Force
Decision Trees
Forward Chaining
Input Is Error
IT Examples
Proof Of Work
Reluctant Algorithms
Reverse Algorithms
Soft Computing
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