For a seed to be used in a pseudorandom number generator, it does not need to be random. Because of the nature of number generating algorithms, so long as the original seed is ignored, the rest of the values that the algorithm generates will follow probability distribution in a pseudorandom manner.
The choice of a good random seed is crucial in the field of computer security. When a secret encryption key is pseudorandomly generated, having the seed will allow one to obtain the key.
If the same random seed is deliberately shared, it becomes a secret key, so two or more systems using matching pseudorandom number algorithms and matching seeds can generate matching sequences of non-repeating numbers which can be used to synchronize remote systems, such as GPS satellites and receivers.
Random seeds are often generated from the state of the computer system (such as the time), a cryptographically secure pseudorandom number generator or from a hardware random number generator.
Famous quotes containing the words seed and/or random:
“The hearts of small children are delicate organs. A cruel beginning in this world can twist them into curious shapes. The heart of a hurt child can shrink so that forever afterward it is hard and pitted as the seed of a peach. Or, again, the heart of such a child may fester and swell until it is misery to carry within the body, easily chafed and hurt by the most ordinary things.”
—Carson McCullers (19171967)
“It is a secret from nobody that the famous random event is most likely to arise from those parts of the world where the old adage There is no alternative to victory retains a high degree of plausibility.”
—Hannah Arendt (19061975)