Diehard tests

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The diehard tests are a battery of statistical tests for measuring the quality of a set of random numbers. They were developed by George Marsaglia over several years and first published in 1995 on a CD-ROM of random numbers.

The tests are:

  • Birthday spacings: Choose random points on a large interval. The spacings between the points should be asymptotically Poisson distributed. The name is based on the birthday paradox.
  • Overlapping permutations: Analyze sequences of five consecutive random numbers. The 120 possible orderings should occur with statistically equal probability.
  • Ranks of matrices: Select some number of bits from some number of random numbers to form a matrix over {0,1}, then determine the rank of the matrix. Count the ranks.
  • Monkey tests: Treat sequences of some number of bits as "words". Count the overlapping words in a stream. The number of "words" that don't appear should follow a known distribution. The name is based on the infinite monkey theorem.
  • Count the 1s: Count the 1 bits in each of either successive or chosen bytes. Convert the counts to "letters", and count the occurrences of five-letter "words".
  • Parking lot test: Randomly place unit circles in a 100 x 100 square. If the circle overlaps an existing one, try again. After 12,000 tries, the number of successfully "parked" circles should follow a certain normal distribution.
  • Minimum distance test: Randomly place 8,000 points in a 10,000 x 10,000 square, then find the minimum distance between the pairs. The square of this distance should be exponentially distributed with a certain mean.
  • Random spheres test: Randomly choose 4,000 points in a cube of edge 1,000. Center a sphere on each point, whose radius is the minimum distance to another point. The smallest sphere's volume should be exponentially distributed with a certain mean.
  • The squeeze test: Multiply 231 by random floats on [0,1) until you reach 1. Repeat this 100,000 times. The number of floats needed to reach 1 should follow a certain distribution.
  • Overlapping sums test: Generate a long sequence of random floats on [0,1). Add sequences of 100 consecutive floats. The sums should be normally distributed with characteristic mean and sigma.
  • Runs test: Generate a long sequence of random floats on [0,1). Count ascending and descending runs. The counts should follow a certain distribution.
  • The craps test: Play 200,000 games of craps, counting the wins and the number of throws per game. Each count should follow a certain distribution.

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