Generating gamma variates by a modified rejection technique

Joachim Ahrens, Ulrich Dieter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A suitable square root transformation of a gamma random variable with mean a ≥ 1 yields a probability density close to the standard normal density. A modification of the rejection technique then begins by sampling from the normal distribution, being able to accept and transform the initial normal observation quickly at least 85 percent of the time (95 percent if a ≥ 4). When used with efficient subroutines for sampling from the normal and exponential distributions, the resulting accurate method is significantly faster than competing algorithms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-54
JournalCommunications of the ACM
Publication statusPublished - 1982

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  • Random Number Generation

    Dieter, U. & Stadlober, E.


    Project: Research area

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