Pseudo Random Sequences

Simon Wistow simon at
Mon Jul 23 09:30:40 BST 2007

By all accounts the shuffle on your mp3 player is actually random. Which 
makes sense when you think about it, a Random Number Generator (or 
Pseudo RNG for the pedants out there) is almost certainly a lot chepaer 
than something that has 'favourites'. Yet despite this people insist 
that their iPods or whatever have an agenda:

Probably because the Human Brain is one massive pattern matching machine 
and true randomness has, well, patterns. Randomly.

But I was wondering if anybody knew of any papers out there for 
deliberately non-random sequence generators - that conciously attempt to 
not have any patterns. 

A naive attempt would just make the probablity of a given track 
appearing be a probability function of the number of items on the list 
and the last time it was played.

A cleverer attempt might have a a numbe rof different fields for each 
track and would try and make sure that it tried never play anything 
with the same value in the same field next to each other.

I can't be the first to think of stuff liek this but my maths paper 
finding fu is weak.

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