History and Development - ACORN random numbers

This page summarises the development of the ACORN generator.

In June 1984 Roy started working for the UK Atomic Energy Authority at Winfrith in Dorset, working on simulation of fluid flow in porous media with application to the underground flow of oil, gas and water during the development of oil and gas fields.

One of his colleagues was developing software for which he required a reliable uniform pseudo-random number generator that was non-proprietary so that it could be included with the software while avoiding any software licensing issues. The algorithm that he was using at the time turned out to have some problems.

While investigating these difficulties in late 1984, Roy came up with the ACORN algorithm as an alternative approach that was very simple to implement and appeared to have the desired statistical properties.

The algorithm was used and tested over a period of several years by Roy and his colleagues, and was published in 1989 in Journal of Computational Physics. Since that time Roy has continued to research the theoretical background and practical applications of the ACORN approach, and has published the results of this research in a series of papers giving both theoretical and empirical results showing ACORN to be a robust PRNG - see the references and history; the original FORTRAN77 code is on the download page.

Current lines of research centre around proof of convergence, testing, and performance improvements - see researchpage.

All information on this site © 2019 Roy Wikramaratna.
You may use all information for research and teaching purposes (with due acknowledgement).
For business or commercial or other use for gain, see contact page.
created 2019-01-31 / updated 2019-03-31