Jump to navigation Jump to random walk theory “Random” redirects here. For a random Wikipedia article, see Special:Random.
For information about Wikipedia’s random article feature, see Wikipedia:Random. Randomness is the lack of pattern or predictability in events. The fields of mathematics, probability, and statistics use formal definitions of randomness. In statistics, a random variable is an assignment of a numerical value to each possible outcome of an event space. This association facilitates the identification and the calculation of probabilities of the events. Random variables can appear in random sequences. Randomness is most often used in statistics to signify well-defined statistical properties.
Ancient fresco of dice players in Pompei. In ancient history, the concepts of chance and randomness were intertwined with that of fate. Many ancient peoples threw dice to determine fate, and this later evolved into games of chance. Most ancient cultures used various methods of divination to attempt to circumvent randomness and fate. The Chinese of 3000 years ago were perhaps the earliest people to formalize odds and chance. The Greek philosophers discussed randomness at length, but only in non-quantitative forms. It was only in the 16th century that Italian mathematicians began to formalize the odds associated with various games of chance.