The truly cautious researcher assesses different random number generators as
the
continuum analyst makes refinements to a grid --- better and better random
number generators are employed, until the answers are independent of the random
number generator. This is rarely, if ever, done in practice. Waxing
philosophical, one wonders what number of Monte Carlo simulations may have been
performed where the answers may in fact be incorrect, but not grossly
incorrect,
due to a flaw inherent in the random number generator used. Traditionally, we
cavalierly accept the random number generator on the architecture of interest.
Fortunately, due to the early and well publicized mistakes made using random
number generators, their properties were thoroughly investigated by the
mathematics community, primarily in the 1950's. Most of the random number
generators in use today were designed with cognizance of past pitfalls and are
adequate for almost all applications. However, we conclude this section with a
firm * caveat emptor!*