stochator

A tiny library providing for creating a variety of random value generators.

npm install stochator
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Download the latest compiled version of stochator.js (0.3.4).

Stochator

Stochator is a tiny library providing for creating a variety of random value generators.

To create a Stochator object, simply invoke the constructor and pass it an options object with a kind property. If not provided, kind is 'float'.

Valid kinds include float, integer, set, color, a-z and A-Z.

Floating-point decimals

It's very easy generate a float between 0 and 1.

var generator = new Stochator({});
generator.next(); // 0.9854211050551385
generator.next(); // 0.8784450970124453
generator.next(); // 0.1592887439765036

This is not very exciting because it simply wraps the built-in Math.random method.

Floats from an interval

Specifying a min and a max allows us to create random numbers in the interval (min, max), not inclusive.

var radianGenerator = new Stochator({
    min: 0,
    max: Math.PI * 2
});
radianGenerator.next(); // 3.7084574239999655
radianGenerator.next(); // 1.021138034566463
radianGenerator.next(); // 4.012664264853087

Floats from a normal distribution

We can also generate random floats from a normal distribution. Min and max are optional, and when provided will result in truncation of all results outside of [min, max].

var testScores = new Stochator({
    mean: 75,
    stdev: 14,
    min: 0,
    max: 100
});
testScores.next(); // 59.437160028200125
testScores.next(); // 80.18612670399554
testScores.next(); // 75.81242027226946

Integers

For integers, the interval [min, max] is inclusive. Notice that the optional argument name allows us to alias next to a more descriptive method name.

var die = new Stochator({
    kind: "integer",
    min: 1,
    max: 6
}, "roll");
die.roll(); // 6
die.roll(); // 1
die.roll(); // 2

Multiple results

If the next method (or a method aliased to it) is passed an integer n, it will return an n-length array of results. Using the die instance from the previous example:

die.roll(1); // [5]
die.roll(2); // [5, 3]
die.roll(5); // [6, 3, 6, 6, 5]

From sets

We can generate random values from arbitary sets.

var dayGenerator = new Stochator({
    kind: "set",
    values: ["monday", "tuesday", "wednesday", "thursday", "friday", "saturday", "sunday"]
});
dayGenerator.next(); // friday
dayGenerator.next(); // monday 
dayGenerator.next(); // monday

From sets with weights

What if we favor the weekend? Well, we can pass weights, an array of the same length as values consisting of probabilities out of 1 that correspond to values.

var biasedDayGenerator = new Stochator({
    kind: "set",
    values: ["monday", "tuesday", "wednesday", "thursday", "friday", "saturday", "sunday"],
    weights: [0.1, 0.1, 0.1, 0.1, 0.1, 0.25, 0.25]
});
biasedDayGenerator.next(); // thursday
biasedDayGenerator.next(); // sunday 
biasedDayGenerator.next(); // saturday

From sets without replacement

Passing a replacement property with a falsy value will result in each random value generation to be removed from the set.

var chores = new Stochator({
    kind: "set",
    values: ["floors", "windows", "dishes"],
    replacement: false
});
var myChore = chores.next(); // "windows"
var yourChore = chores.next(); // "floors"
var hisChore = chores.next(); // "dishes"
var noOnesChore = chores.next(); // undefined

From predefined sets

At present, predefined sets include "a-z", "A-Z" and "color".

var colorGenerator = new Stochator({
    kind: "color"
});
colorGenerator.next(); // { red: 122, green: 200, blue: 121 }
colorGenerator.next(); // { red: 129, green: 89, blue: 192 }
colorGenerator.next(); // { red: 125, green: 211, blue: 152 }

Note that this example passes an integer argument n to next which causes the stochator to return an array with the result of n calls to the generator.

var characterGenerator = new Stochator({
    kind: "a-z"
});
characterGenerator.next(25).join(""); // "uktlbkgufzjiztatmqelawfez"
characterGenerator.next(25).join(""); // "wdhygotehcfmrkjyuuovztxla"
characterGenerator.next(25).join(""); // "mbjxkhflycpxgdrtyyyevasga"

Mutators

The constructor accepts an optional final argument which is passed the output of the random value generator. Its return value becomes the return value of next or its alias. To generate random boolean values, we can do:

var booleanGenerator = new Stochator({
    kind: "integer",
    min: 0,
    max: 1
}, Boolean);

booleanGenerator.next(); // false
booleanGenerator.next(); // true
booleanGenerator.next(); // true

We can map the previously mentioned radianGenerator to the cosine of its values.

var radianSineGenerator = new Stochator({
    min: 0,
    max: Math.PI * 2
}, Math.cos);
radianSineGenerator.next(); // -0.31173382958096524
radianSineGenerator.next(); // -0.6424354006937544
radianSineGenerator.next(); // 0.6475980728835664

Mutators remember their previous result and, at each generation, apply the results of a specified stochator to create a new result.

(This is functionally equivalent to a Markov chain.)

var drunkardsWalk = new Stochator({
    kind: "integer",
    min: -1,
    max: 1
}, function(a, b) { return a + b; });

drunkardsWalk.next(10); // [-1, -2, -2, -1, -1, -1, 0, 1, 1, 2]
drunkardsWalk.next(10); // [3, 3, 3, 2, 1, 0, -1, 0, 0, 0]
drunkardsWalk.next(10); // [0, 1, 0, -1, 0, 0, 1, 2, 1, 1]

Let's model a bank account's balance. How much money might you have after 10 years if you start with $1000, add $1000 every year, and get interest at a random rate between 1% and 5%?

var addInterest = function(interestRate, principal) {
    return (principal + 1000) * interestRate;
};
var savingsAccountBalance = new Stochator({
    kind: "float",
    min: 1.01,
    max: 1.05
}, addInterest);

savingsAccountBalance.setValue(1000); // Sets the initital value
savingsAccountBalance.next(10);
/*
[
    2096.2402432970703,
    3177.3792999428224,
    4339.349049328612,
    5441.863800747634,
    6507.916293297546,
    7669.519280743041,
    9011.783840249629,
    10225.82489660009,
    11630.122217972781,
    12782.667463879243
]
*/

Multiple generators

If the Stochator constructor is passed multiple configuration objects, next (or its alias) returns an array of each random generated value.

To generate a random point, we might do:

var x = { kind: 'integer', min: 0, max: 480 };
var y = { kind: 'integer', min: 0, max: 360 };
var mutator = function(values) {
    return {
        x: values[0],
        y: values[1]
    };
};
var randomPoint = new Stochator(x, y, mutator);

randomPoint.next(); // { x: 79, y: 65 }
randomPoint.next(); // { x: 151, y: 283 }
randomPoint.next(); // { x: 5, y: 253 }
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