# Using the State monad for Random Generation

`module RandomGen where`

```
import System.Random (StdGen, mkStdGen, next)
import State
import Control.Monad hiding (liftM2)
```

## Random Generation

Recall that quickCheck needs to randomly generate values of any type. It turns out that we can use the state monad to define the `Gen`

monad used in the QuickCheck libary.

First, a brief discussion of pseudo-random number generators. Pseudo-random number generators aren't really random, they just look like it. They are more like functions that are so complicated that they might as well be random. The nice property about them is that they are repeatable, if you give them the same *seed* they will produce the same sequence of "random" numbers.

Haskell has a library for Pseudo-Random numbers called System.Random.

```
type StdGen -- a type for a "standard" random number generator.
-- | Construct a generator from a given seed. Distinct arguments
-- are likely to produce distinct generators.
mkStdGen :: Int -> StdGen
-- | Returns an Int that is uniformly distributed in a range of at least 30 bits.
next :: StdGen -> (Int, StdGen)
```

For example, we can generate a random integer by constructing a random number generator, calling `next`

and then projecting the result.

```
testRandom :: Int -> Int
testRandom i = fst (next (mkStdGen i))
```

If we'd like to constrain that integer to a specific range (0,n) we can use `nextBounded`

.

```
nextBounded :: Int -> StdGen -> (Int, StdGen)
nextBounded bound s = (i `mod` bound, s') where
(i, s') = next s
```

`testBounded x = fst . nextBounded x . mkStdGen `

QC is defined by class types that can construct random values. Let's do it first the hard way...

```
-- | Extract random values of any type
class Arb1 a where
arb1 :: StdGen -> (a, StdGen)
```

```
instance Arb1 Int where
arb1 = next
```

```
instance Arb1 Bool where
arb1 = \g -> let (i, g') = nextBounded 2 g in ( i == 0 , g')
```

```
testArb1 :: Arb1 a => Int -> a
testArb1 i = fst (arb1 (mkStdGen i))
```

What about for pairs?

```
instance (Arb1 a, Arb1 b) => Arb1 (a,b) where
arb1 = \s -> let (a, s') = arb1 s in
let (b, s'') = arb1 s' in
((a,b), s'')
```

And for lists?

```
instance (Arb1 a) => Arb1 [a] where
arb1 s = let (b, s') = nextBounded 5 s in
if b == 1 then ([], s')
else let (a, s'') = arb1 s' in
let (as, s''') = arb1 s'' in
((a:as), s''')
```

Ouch, there's a lot of state passing going on here.

## State Monad to the Rescue

Last time, we developed a reusable library for the State monad. Let's use it to *define* a generator monad for QC.

Our reusable library defines an abstract type for the State monad, and the following operations for working with these sorts of computations.

```
type State s a = ...
instance Monad (State s) where ...
get :: State s s
put :: s -> State s ()
runState :: State s a -> s -> (a,s)
```

Now let's define a type for generators, using the State monad.

`type Gen a = State StdGen a `

With this type, we can create a type class similar to the one in the QuickCheck library.

```
class Arb a where
arb :: Gen a
```

For example, we can use the `state`

operation to inject the `next`

function into the `State StdGen a`

type.

```
instance Arb Int where
arb = state next
```

```
bounded :: Int -> Gen Int
bounded b = liftM (`mod` b) arb
```

What about random generation for other types? How does the state monad help that definition? How does it compare to the version above?

```
instance Arb Bool where
arb = liftM (\ x -> (x `mod` 2) == 0) (arb :: Gen Int)
```

```
instance (Arb a, Arb b) => Arb (a,b) where
arb = liftM2 (,) arb arb
```

```
liftM2 :: (Monad m) => (a -> b -> c) -> m a -> m b -> m c
liftM2 f = \ ma mb -> do
a <- ma
b <- mb
return (f a b)
```

```
instance (Arb a) => Arb [a] where
arb = do
x <- (arb :: Gen Int)
if ((x `mod` 5) == 1) then return []
else (liftM2 (:) arb arb)
```

```
sample :: Show a => Gen a -> [a]
sample gen = evalState (sequence (replicate 10 gen)) (mkStdGen 932497234)
```

`-- sample :: Gen a => IO ()`

## News :

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