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Re: st: looking for more efficient programming for randomly shuffling list of numbers

From   Jeph Herrin <>
Subject   Re: st: looking for more efficient programming for randomly shuffling list of numbers
Date   Thu, 26 Aug 2010 14:09:44 -0400

How about

 clear all
 set obs 9600
 set seed 85999283
 gen str60 sticker=""
 gen num=.
 forv i=1/20 {
	replace num=floor(20*uniform())+1
	replace sticker=sticker+" "+string(num)
 drop num



On 8/26/2010 11:11 AM, Evelyn Ersanilli wrote:
Dear Statalisters,

For a survey I need to make stickers that can be used to randomly
select respondents within a household. These stickers should contain
the numbers 1-20 in a random order (most households will have less
than 20 members). Each sticker should have its own random order,
though it is not a problem if by chance some stickers are the same.
The stickers should be generated in such a way that each order of
numbers 1-20 should be possible and equally likely.

I have written a do-file for this (see below), but it's pretty
inefficient. My first step was to make a data file with one variable
that has the numbers 1-20 (so 20 cases). Then I let the do-file run
to create 70 random lists of the numbers 1-20. The main inefficiency
is that I had to create a separate .dta file for each sticker and
then merge them. This is not so bad with 70 lists, but with the 9.600
that I will need to create it is pretty annoying.

The recent discussion about need for setting the random seeds also
got me a bit worried, but if I understood it correctly it shouldn't
affect my problem too much.

All suggestions are welcome.

Kind regards,


****************************** local i = 1 while `i'<  71 {
//generates 70 vars with random numbers gen u`i' = runiform() local i
= `i' + 1 }

foreach order of varlist u1-u70 { sort `order' gen order`order'=var1
preserve keep order`order' gen n=_n save "C:\Users\sticker
source`order'.dta" restore }

clear gen n=_n foreach order in u1 u2 u3 u4 u5 u6 u7 u8 u9 u10 u11
u12 u13 u14 u15 u16 u17 u18 u19 u20 u21 u22 u23 u24 u25 u26 u27 u28
/// u29 u30 u31 u32 u33 u34 u35 u36 u37 u38 u39 u40 u41 u42 u43 u44
u45 u46 u47 u48 u49 u50 u51 u52 u53 u54 u55 u56 u57 u58 u59 u60 ///
u61 u62 u63 u64 u65 u66 u67 u68 u69 u70{ merge 1:1 _n using
"C:\Users\sticker source`order'.dta", noreport nogenerate } drop n
save "C:\Users\sticker pilot 1 marok.dta", replace xpose, clear
outsheet using "C:\Users\sticker pilot 1 marok - transposed.out",
replace ***************************************

Research Officer EUMAGINE project

International Migration Institute (IMI) James Martin 21st Century
School Department of International Development Mansfield Road Oxford
OX1 3TB University of Oxford Tel: +44 (0)1865271925

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