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Re: st: RE: generate random sample

From   Steve Samuels <>
Subject   Re: st: RE: generate random sample
Date   Sun, 15 Jan 2012 21:17:40 -0500

Ning Li:

Your example is too unrealistic and your question too vague for us to answer.

Is N (population size) really 5? If so, then the "probability distribution" cannot be that of the population.

If population N>5 and there are five "types" of population elements, with the distribution shown, then there is not enough information for Phil's (or anybody's) algorithm to work. Suppose Phil's algorithm draws a selection with x = 3. With the information you have provided, there is no way to link this selection to a specific population element.:

But perhaps you want to draw the sample of n = 3 from N =5 with probability proportional to size, in which case the size measures can be arbitrary. But such size measures will rarely look like the proportions that you show.

So please describe your problem better. .


On Jan 15, 2012, at 6:54 PM, Philip Ryan wrote:

The following will randomly sample 3 observations on variable x with
replacement from 10,000 observations with the distribution you specified.
Un-comment the -set seed- line (and provide a numeric seed) if you want
reproducibility between runs.  see -help bsample-

* set seed <seednum>
input x fw
1 2000
2 1000
3 3000
4 3000
5 1000
expand fw
bsample 3, weight(fw)
list x if fw==1


Philip Ryan
Professor and Director
Data Management & Analysis Centre [DMAC]
University of Adelaide
-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of
Sent: Monday, 16 January 2012 9:22 AM
Subject: st: generate random sample

Dear listers

I am using Stata/MP 11 Windows.

What is the good way to generate a sample from a population with

Say, how to generate 3 independent random numbers from population
(1,2,3,4,5) with probability distribution (0.2, 0.1, 0.3, 0.3,0.1)?

Many thanks for the help.


Ning Li
Survey Methodologist
Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research The
University of Melbourne
Tel:  +61 3 9035 4949   Fax: +61 3 8344 2111
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