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Edited by: Published: 2008
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A process is random if its outcome is one of several possible outcomes and is unknown prior to the execution of the process; that is, it results merely by chance. Some survey operations are carried out as random processes because of advantages resulting from multiple possible outcomes or from the absence of advance knowledge about the outcome. Such survey operations are said to be randomized and are discussed in more detail later in this entry. Random numbers are the realized outcomes of a numeric-valued random process. They are used by researchers or survey-operations staff to carry out randomized survey operations. This entry discusses properties and sources of random numbers.

For some randomization operations, the needed random numbers must be integers uniformly distributed between 1 and some ...

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