# random.seed(): What does it do?

## Question:

I am a bit confused on what `random.seed()` does in Python. For example, why does the below trials do what they do (consistently)?

``````>>> import random
>>> random.seed(9001)
>>> random.randint(1, 10)
1
>>> random.randint(1, 10)
3
>>> random.randint(1, 10)
6
>>> random.randint(1, 10)
6
>>> random.randint(1, 10)
7
``````

I couldn’t find good documentation on this.

In this case, random is actually pseudo-random. Given a seed, it will generate numbers with an equal distribution. But with the same seed, it will generate the same number sequence every time. If you want it to change, you’ll have to change your seed. A lot of people like to generate a seed based on the current time or something.

Pseudo-random number generators work by performing some operation on a value. Generally this value is the previous number generated by the generator. However, the first time you use the generator, there is no previous value.

Seeding a pseudo-random number generator gives it its first “previous” value. Each seed value will correspond to a sequence of generated values for a given random number generator. That is, if you provide the same seed twice, you get the same sequence of numbers twice.

Generally, you want to seed your random number generator with some value that will change each execution of the program. For instance, the current time is a frequently-used seed. The reason why this doesn’t happen automatically is so that if you want, you can provide a specific seed to get a known sequence of numbers.

All the other answers don’t seem to explain the use of random.seed().
Here is a simple example (source):

``````import random
random.seed( 3 )
print "Random number with seed 3 : ", random.random() #will generate a random number
#if you want to use the same random number once again in your program
random.seed( 3 )
random.random()   # same random number as before
``````

Here is a small test that demonstrates that feeding the `seed()` method with the same argument will cause the same pseudo-random result:

``````# testing random.seed()

import random

def equalityCheck(l):
state=None
x=l
for i in l:
if i!=x:
state=False
break
else:
state=True
return state

l=[]

for i in range(1000):
random.seed(10)
l.append(random.random())

print "All elements in l are equal?",equalityCheck(l)
``````
``````>>> random.seed(9001)
>>> random.randint(1, 10)
1
>>> random.seed(9001)
>>> random.randint(1, 10)
1
>>> random.seed(9001)
>>> random.randint(1, 10)
1
>>> random.seed(9001)
>>> random.randint(1, 10)
1
>>> random.seed(9002)
>>> random.randint(1, 10)
3
``````

You try this.

Let’s say ‘random.seed’ gives a value to random value generator (‘random.randint()’) which generates these values on the basis of this seed. One of the must properties of random numbers is that they should be reproducible. When you put same seed, you get the same pattern of random numbers. This way you are generating them right from the start. You give a different seed- it starts with a different initial (above 3).

Given a seed, it will generate random numbers between 1 and 10 one after another. So you assume one set of numbers for one seed value.

Imho, it is used to generate same random course result when you use `random.seed(samedigit)` again.

``````In : random.randint(7,10)

Out: 9

In : random.randint(7,10)

Out: 9

In : random.randint(7,10)

Out: 7

In : random.randint(7,10)

Out: 10

In : random.seed(5)

In : random.randint(7,10)

Out: 9

In : random.seed(5)

In : random.randint(7,10)

Out: 9
``````
``````# Simple Python program to understand random.seed() importance

import random

random.seed(10)

for i in range(5):
print(random.randint(1, 100))
``````

Execute the above program multiple times…

1st attempt: prints 5 random integers in the range of 1 – 100

2nd attempt: prints same 5 random numbers appeared in the above execution.

3rd attempt: same

…..So on

Explanation: Every time we are running the above program we are setting seed to 10, then random generator takes this as a reference variable. And then by doing some predefined formula, it generates a random number.

Hence setting seed to 10 in the next execution again sets reference number to 10 and again the same behavior starts…

As soon as we reset the seed value it gives the same plants.

Note: Change the seed value and run the program, you’ll see a different random sequence than the previous one.

Here is my understanding.
Every time we set a seed value, a “label” or ” reference” is generated. The next random.function call is attached to this “label”, so next time you call the same seed value and random.function, it will give you the same result.

``````np.random.seed( 3 )
print(np.random.randn()) # output: 1.7886284734303186

np.random.seed( 3 )
print(np.random.rand()) # different function. output: 0.5507979025745755

np.random.seed( 5 )
print(np.random.rand()) # different seed value. output: 0.22199317108973948
``````
``````Seed() can be used for later use ---

Example:
>>> import numpy as np
>>> np.random.seed(12)
>>> np.random.rand(4)
array([0.15416284, 0.7400497 , 0.26331502, 0.53373939])
>>>
>>>
>>> np.random.seed(10)
>>> np.random.rand(4)
array([0.77132064, 0.02075195, 0.63364823, 0.74880388])
>>>
>>>
>>> np.random.seed(12) # When you use same seed as before you will get same random output as before
>>> np.random.rand(4)
array([0.15416284, 0.7400497 , 0.26331502, 0.53373939])
>>>
>>>
>>> np.random.seed(10)
>>> np.random.rand(4)
array([0.77132064, 0.02075195, 0.63364823, 0.74880388])
>>>
``````

A random number is generated by some operation on previous value.

If there is no previous value then the current time is taken as previous value automatically. We can provide this previous value by own using `random.seed(x)` where `x` could be any number or string etc.

Hence `random.random()` is not actually perfect random number, it could be predicted via `random.seed(x)`.

``````import random
random.seed(45)            #seed=45
random.random()            #1st rand value=0.2718754143840908
0.2718754143840908
random.random()            #2nd rand value=0.48802820785090784
0.48802820785090784
random.seed(45)            # again reasign seed=45
random.random()
0.2718754143840908         #matching with 1st rand value
random.random()
0.48802820785090784        #matching with 2nd rand value
``````

Hence, generating a random number is not actually random, because it runs on algorithms. Algorithms always give the same output based on the same input. This means, it depends on the value of the seed. So, in order to make it more random, time is automatically assigned to `seed()`.

Set the `seed(x)` before generating a set of random numbers and use the same seed to generate the same set of random numbers. Useful in case of reproducing the issues.

``````>>> from random import *
>>> seed(20)
>>> randint(1,100)
93
>>> randint(1,100)
88
>>> randint(1,100)
99
>>> seed(20)
>>> randint(1,100)
93
>>> randint(1,100)
88
>>> randint(1,100)
99
>>>
``````

`random.seed(a, version)` in python is used to initialize the pseudo-random number generator (PRNG).

PRNG is algorithm that generates sequence of numbers approximating the properties of random numbers. These random numbers can be reproduced using the seed value. So, if you provide seed value, PRNG starts from an arbitrary starting state using a seed.

Argument `a` is the seed value. If the a value is `None`, then by default, current system time is used.

and `version` is An integer specifying how to convert the a parameter into a integer. Default value is 2.

``````import random
random.seed(9001)
random.randint(1, 10) #this gives output of 1
# 1
``````

If you want the same random number to be reproduced then provide the same seed again

``````random.seed(9001)
random.randint(1, 10) # this will give the same output of 1
# 1
``````

If you don’t provide the seed, then it generate different number and not 1 as before

``````random.randint(1, 10) # this gives 7 without providing seed
# 7
``````

If you provide different seed than before, then it will give you a different random number

``````random.seed(9002)
random.randint(1, 10) # this gives you 5 not 1
# 5
``````

So, in summary, if you want the same random number to be reproduced, provide the seed. Specifically, the same seed.

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