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st: Query on -set seed-

From   Roger Newson <>
Subject   st: Query on -set seed-
Date   Mon, 07 Feb 2005 21:48:59 +0000

Fellow Statalisters (especially StataCorp):

According to -[R] functions-, the -set seed- command can take any seed from 0 to 2^31-1 inclusive, and, if I specify a seed with one of these values in a do-file under -version- control and then use the -uniform()- function, then the same result will be produced every time I execute that do-file with the same input data. My query is, will this still be the case if I set the seed to an even higher integer? I ask because, last July, I inadvertently wrote a do-file containing the statements

set seed 4753533809;
gene double ranord2=uniform();

and executed it on 15 July 2004 under Stata 8.2 under Windows 2000, producing some random-looking results and no complaints about the illegally high seed. However, when I re-executed the same do-file today (7 September 2005) with the same input dataset under the Stata 8.2 update dated 10 January 2005, it produced a completely different set of random-looking results, and still no complaints about the same illegally high seed. Have there been any unpublicised revisions to -set seed- or to -uniform()- affecting the response to an illegally high seed?

Best wishes (and thanks in advance)


Roger Newson
Lecturer in Medical Statistics
Department of Public Health Sciences
King's College London
5th Floor, Capital House
42 Weston Street
London SE1 3QD
United Kingdom

Tel: 020 7848 6648 International +44 20 7848 6648
Fax: 020 7848 6620 International +44 20 7848 6620
or 020 7848 6605 International +44 20 7848 6605

Opinions expressed are those of the author, not the institution.

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