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Local Randomness and R

Evgeni Chasnovski has a problem around generating random data:

Let’s say we have a deterministic (non-random) problem for which one of the solutions involves randomness. One very common example of such problem is a function minimization on certain interval: it can be solved non-randomly (like in most methods of optim()), or randomly (the simplest approach being to generate random set of points on interval and to choose the one with the lowest function value).

What is a “clean” way of writing a function to solve the problem? The issue with direct usage of randomness inside a function is that it affects the state of outer random number generation:

Click through for a solution which uses random numbers but doesn’t change the outside world’s random number generation after it’s done.