Randomness is a concept with somewhat disparate meanings in several fields. It also has common meanings which may have loose connections with some of those more definite meanings. The Oxford English Dictionary defines "random" thus:
Having no definite aim or purpose; not sent or guided in a particular direction; made, done, occurring, etc., without method or conscious choice; haphazard.
Also, in statistics, as:
Governed by or involving equal chances for each of the actual or hypothetical members of a population; (also) produced or obtained by such a process, and therefore unpredictable in detail.
Closely connected, therefore, with the concepts of chance, probability, and information entropy, randomness implies a lack of predictability. More formally, in statistics, a random process is a repeating process whose outcomes follow no describable deterministic pattern, but follow a probability distribution, such that the relative probability of the occurrence of each outcome can be approximated or calculated. For example, the rolling of a fair sixsided die in neutral conditions may be said to produce random results, because one cannot compute, before a roll, what number will show up. However, the probability of rolling any one of the six rollable numbers can be calculated, assuming that each is equally likely.
The term is often used in statistics to signify welldefined statistical properties, such as a lack of bias or correlation. Monte Carlo Methods, which rely on random input, are important techniques in science, as, for instance, in computational science.[1] Random selection is an official method to resolve tied elections in some jurisdictions[2] and is even an ancient method of divination, as in tarot, the I Ching, and bibliomancy. Its use in politics is very old, as office holders in Ancient Athens were chosen by lot, there being no voting.
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