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Shuffling data using STL random shuffle algorithm in Open C++

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Article Metadata
Tested with
Devices(s): Nokia 6220 Classic
Platform(s): S60 3rd Edition, FP2
Keywords: srand, rand, time, vector, iterator, ostream_iterator, random_shuffle()
Created: aknyman (30 Sep 2008)
Last edited: hamishwillee (14 Jun 2012)



This code snippet shows how to use the random_shuffle algorithm to randomize a sequence of elements. The random_shuffle() function randomly re-orders the elements in the given range. It works only with sequences that provide random-access iterators, such as vectors and arrays. The function takes two random-access iterators (first, last) as parameters and an optional random-number generation functor. The header file <algorithm> must be included in the application in order to use the random_shuffle algorithm.

Note: In order to use this code, you need to install the Open C/C++ plug-in.

This snippet can be self-signed.

MMP file

The following libraries are required:

LIBRARY libstdcpp.lib
LIBRARY libc.lib
LIBRARY euser.lib

Header file

#include <vector>
typedef enum
Ace, _2, _3, _4, _5, _6, _7, _8, _9,
_10, Jack, Queen, King } ERank;
typedef enum
Club, Diamond,
Heart, Spade
} ESuit;
class Card
Card(ESuit suit, ERank rank);
void GetValues(ESuit &suit, ERank &rank);
ERank m_rank;
ESuit m_suit;
class Deck
void Shuffle(bool aSeed = false);
void PrintDeck();
std::vector<Card> m_cards;
#endif /*EXAMPLECARDS_H_*/

Source file

#include <algorithm>
#include <iostream>
#include <ctime>
#include "ExampleCards.h"
using namespace std;
Card::Card(ESuit suit, ERank rank)
m_rank = rank;
m_suit = suit;
void Card::GetValues(ESuit &suit, ERank &rank)
rank = m_rank;
suit = m_suit;
int count = 0;
for (int s = int(Club); s <= int(Spade); ++s)
for (int c = int(Ace); c <= int(King); ++c)
m_cards.push_back(Card(ESuit(s), ERank(c)));
void Deck::PrintDeck()
const char suits[] =
const char ranks[] =
{'A', '2', '3', '4', '5',
'6', '7', '8', '9',
'0', 'J', 'Q', 'K'};
for(int i=0; i < (int)m_cards.size(); i++)
ESuit s; ERank r;
cout << '(' << suits[(int)s] <<
'-' << ranks[(int)r] << ')';
cout << endl;
void Deck::Shuffle(bool aSeed)
static bool seeded;
if (!seeded && aSeed)
srand ( unsigned ( time (NULL) ) );
seeded = true;
random_shuffle( m_cards.begin(), m_cards.end() );

The main application:

#include <algorithm> //random_shuffle
#include <iterator> //iterator, ostream_iterator
#include <iostream> //cout
#include <vector> //vector
#include <cstdlib> //srand, rand
#include <ctime> //time
#include "ExampleCards.h"
//random-number generation functor
class ExampleRnd
size_t operator( )(size_t n) const
{ return(rand( )%n ); }
int main()
//set the random number seed for the rand() operator
srand ( unsigned ( time (NULL) ) );
//-- using random_shuffle with a vector
vector<int> v;
vector<int>::iterator vi;
for(int index = 0; index<10; index++)
random_shuffle(v.begin( ), v.end( ));
vi = v.begin();
while(vi != v.end())
cout << *vi++ << " ";
cout << endl;
ExampleRnd rnd; //use own functor to shuffle
random_shuffle(v.begin( ), v.end( ), rnd);
vi = v.begin();
while(vi != v.end())
cout << *vi++ << " ";
cout << endl;
//-- using random_shuffle with an array
string s[5];
ostream_iterator<string> si(cout," ");
s[0] = "abc";
s[1] = "def";
s[2] = "ghi";
s[3] = "jkl";
s[4] = "mno";
random_shuffle( s, s+5 ); //end must be one element past
copy( s, s+5, si );
cout << endl;
//-- using a class that internally calls random_shuffle
Deck d;
cout << "An ordered deck:" << endl;
cout << "A shuffled deck:" << endl;
return 0;


The vector containing integer values from 1 to 10 has been shuffled two times with and without its own functor. After that, the array containing strings has been shuffled and finally the class implementing a card deck is also used to demonstrate the random shuffle algorithm.

This page was last modified on 14 June 2012, at 02:05.
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