Random Number Histogram

  • #1
1. The problem statement

If i generate a list of 300 random numbers in excel, each number between 1-50 for example, and i plot the frequency that each number comes in a histogram, how can i tell, looking at the histogram, if the numbers are really random? is there a certain distribution the histogram will follow?

The Attempt at a Solution


I would assume that every number between 1 and 50 would have the same probability of coming up so the histogram would have more or less even bars. however, doesn't a poisson or gaussian distribution represent random events, and then wouldn't the histogram have to be a bell shaped curve?

can someone please help me!?
looking at the histogram, how can i tell if the numbers are actually random?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
24
0
It sounds like a Chi-square test is suitable for this. I think you use the fact that if it was random, you would expect each number 1-50 to come up 6 times, so the distribution should just be rectangular.
 
  • #3
HallsofIvy
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
41,833
963
You can't tell by just looking. The chi-square test, as cosmo123 said, can test give a probability that numbers were generated randomly but remember it is possible (though extremely unlikely) that a randomly generated set of numbers could be all the same number! That is, there is no way of knowing for sure if a given set of numbers was randomly generated. Any set of numbers could be generated randomly.
 

Related Threads on Random Number Histogram

  • Last Post
Replies
2
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
0
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
2
Views
1K
Replies
2
Views
2K
Replies
1
Views
1K
Replies
1
Views
2K
Replies
4
Views
6K
  • Last Post
Replies
0
Views
2K
Replies
1
Views
1K
Top