Introduction to MINITAB in the Saint Mary's Microcomputer Lab

XIII. Generating random numbers

Minitab will generatea list of random numbers (for use in selecting a sample from a listed population, etc.) following any of several distributions.

Random integers:

This produces a list of integers taken at random [all values equally likely, each choice independent of others] from a specified range of values. (Useful for selecting a random sample from a listed population - as in using a random number table, you will need to skip repeated values if you are using this for sampling.)

Select Calc>Random Data>Integer
Type the number of random numbers (usually your sample size or a bit more) in the "Generate . . . rows of data" box.
Put the name of an unused column (you can see a list of the columns you are using) in the "Store in columns" box.
Put the smallest acceptable value in the " Minimum value " box, the largest acceptable value in the " Maximum value " box.

If you want a printed copy of the list, use the File>Display Data command to put this column into your "Session" window (see
V. Description ) - it will then be printed when you print the Session window (see VI. Saving and printing your work ).

The other options for Calc>Random Data allow you to obtain random numbers following the various distributions named there.
In general, you will need to enter the parameters for the distribution you select (n and p for binomial, mean and standard deviation for normal, etc.)


Last update 8/21/2000

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