Fastest pseudo-random number-generator: erlang:statistics(io) ?

Thijs thijsterlouw@REDACTED
Tue Nov 24 16:35:10 CET 2009

On Nov 24, 11:20 pm, Dave Smith <diz...@REDACTED> wrote:
> Off the top of my head, I have to wonder if using statistics(io) is
> going to yield sufficient pseudo-randomness for load distribution
> purposes. If you consider that most IO is likely to be a block size
> modulo 8 (for efficiency) it seems like you might get a skewed
> distribution. A simpler (and perhaps faster) approach would be to just
> maintain a counter that gets atomically incremented on each call -- a
> port driver or ETS table would suffice and have similar amounts of
> contention as the call to statistics.

Maintaining a counter in ETS would be (much) slower, so that is
unfortunately no option for me. I have tried some simple randomness
tests for this io-function in the running server and the distribution
looks sufficiently random. I have many processes sending and receiving
data (via ports), so that shouldn't be a problem. Someone else told me
that erlang:now() blocks the scheduler shortly, so that is something I
definitely want to avoid.

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