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Linear congruential generators are pseudo-random-sequence generators of the form
in which X_{n} is the nth number of the sequence, and X_{n-1} is the previous number of the sequence. The variables a, b, and m are constants: a is the multiplier, b is the increment, and m is the modulus. The key, or seed, is the value of X_{0}.
This generator has a period no greater than m. If a, b, and m are properly chosen, then the generator will be a maximal period generator (sometimes called maximal length) and have period of m. (For example, b should be relatively prime to m.) Details on choosing constants to ensure maximal period can be found in [863,942]. Another good article on linear congruential generators and their theory is [1446].
Table 16.1, taken from [1272], gives a list of good constants for linear congruential generators. They all produce maximal period generators and even more important, pass the spectral test for randomness for dimensions 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 [385,863]. They are organized by the largest product that does not overflow a specific word length.
The advantage of linear congruential generators is that they are fast, requiring few operations per bit.
Unfortunately, linear congruential generators cannot be used for cryptography; they are predictable. Linear congruential generators were first broken by Jim Reeds [1294,1295,1296] and then by Joan Boyar [1251]. She also broke quadratic generators:
and cubic generators:
Other researchers extended Boyar’s work to break any polynomial congruential generator [923,899,900]. Truncated linear congruential generators were also broken [581,705,580], as were truncated linear congruential generators with unknown parameters [1500,212]. The preponderance of evidence is that congruential generators aren’t useful for cryptography.
Table 16.1 Constants for Linear Congruential Generators | |||
---|---|---|---|
Overflow At: | a | b | m |
2^{20} | 106 | 1283 | 6075 |
2^{21} | 211 | 1663 | 7875 |
2^{22} | 421 | 1663 | 7875 |
2^{23} | 430 | 2531 | 11979 |
936 | 1399 | 6655 | |
1366 | 1283 | 6075 | |
2^{24} | 171 | 11213 | 53125 |
859 | 2531 | 11979 | |
419 | 6173 | 29282 | |
967 | 3041 | 14406 | |
2^{25} | 141 | 28411 | 134456 |
625 | 6571 | 31104 | |
1541 | 2957 | 14000 | |
1741 | 2731 | 12960 | |
1291 | 4621 | 21870 | |
205 | 29573 | 139968 | |
2^{26} | 421 | 17117 | 81000 |
1255 | 6173 | 29282 | |
281 | 28411 | 134456 | |
2^{27} | 1093 | 18257 | 86436 |
421 | 54773 | 259200 | |
1021 | 24631 | 116640 | |
1021 | 25673 | 121500 | |
2^{28} | 1277 | 24749 | 117128 |
741 | 66037 | 312500 | |
2041 | 25673 | 121500 | |
2^{29} | 2311 | 25367 | 120050 |
1807 | 45289 | 214326 | |
1597 | 51749 | 244944 | |
1861 | 49297 | 233280 | |
2661 | 36979 | 175000 | |
4081 | 25673 | 121500 | |
3661 | 30809 | 145800 | |
2^{30} | 3877 | 29573 | 139968 |
3613 | 45289 | 214326 | |
1366 | 150889 | 714025 | |
2^{31} | 8121 | 28411 | 134456 |
4561 | 51349 | 243000 | |
7141 | 54773 | 259200 | |
2^{32} | 9301 | 49297 | 233280 |
4096 | 150889 | 714025 | |
2^{33} | 2416 | 374441 | 1771875 |
2^{34} | 17221 | 107839 | 510300 |
36261 | 66037 | 312500 | |
2^{35} | 84589 | 45989 | 217728 |
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