NAG Library Routine Document

g05ncf (permute)


    1  Purpose
    7  Accuracy


g05ncf performs a pseudorandom permutation of a vector of integers.


Fortran Interface
Subroutine g05ncf ( indx, n, state, ifail)
Integer, Intent (In):: n
Integer, Intent (Inout):: indx(n), state(*), ifail
C Header Interface
#include nagmk26.h
void  g05ncf_ (Integer indx[], const Integer *n, Integer state[], Integer *ifail)


g05ncf permutes the elements of an integer array without inspecting their values. Each of the n! possible permutations of the n values may be regarded as being equally probable.
Even for modest values of n it is theoretically impossible that all n! permutations may occur, as n! is likely to exceed the cycle length of any of the base generators. For practical purposes this is irrelevant, as the time necessary to generate all possible permutations is many millenia.
One of the initialization routines g05kff (for a repeatable sequence if computed sequentially) or g05kgf (for a non-repeatable sequence) must be called prior to the first call to g05ncf.


Kendall M G and Stuart A (1969) The Advanced Theory of Statistics (Volume 1) (3rd Edition) Griffin
Knuth D E (1981) The Art of Computer Programming (Volume 2) (2nd Edition) Addison–Wesley


1:     indxn – Integer arrayInput/Output
On entry: the n integer values to be permuted.
On exit: the n permuted integer values.
2:     n – IntegerInput
On entry: the number of values to be permuted.
Constraint: n1.
3:     state* – Integer arrayCommunication Array
Note: the actual argument supplied must be the array state supplied to the initialization routines g05kff or g05kgf.
On entry: contains information on the selected base generator and its current state.
On exit: contains updated information on the state of the generator.
4:     ifail – IntegerInput/Output
On entry: ifail must be set to 0, -1​ or ​1. If you are unfamiliar with this argument you should refer to Section 3.4 in How to Use the NAG Library and its Documentation for details.
For environments where it might be inappropriate to halt program execution when an error is detected, the value -1​ or ​1 is recommended. If the output of error messages is undesirable, then the value 1 is recommended. Otherwise, if you are not familiar with this argument, the recommended value is 0. When the value -1​ or ​1 is used it is essential to test the value of ifail on exit.
On exit: ifail=0 unless the routine detects an error or a warning has been flagged (see Section 6).

Error Indicators and Warnings

If on entry ifail=0 or -1, explanatory error messages are output on the current error message unit (as defined by x04aaf).
Errors or warnings detected by the routine:
On entry, n=value.
Constraint: n1.
On entry, state vector has been corrupted or not initialized.
An unexpected error has been triggered by this routine. Please contact NAG.
See Section 3.9 in How to Use the NAG Library and its Documentation for further information.
Your licence key may have expired or may not have been installed correctly.
See Section 3.8 in How to Use the NAG Library and its Documentation for further information.
Dynamic memory allocation failed.
See Section 3.7 in How to Use the NAG Library and its Documentation for further information.


Not applicable.

Parallelism and Performance

g05ncf is threaded by NAG for parallel execution in multithreaded implementations of the NAG Library.
Please consult the X06 Chapter Introduction for information on how to control and interrogate the OpenMP environment used within this routine. Please also consult the Users' Note for your implementation for any additional implementation-specific information.

Further Comments



In the example program a vector containing the first eight positive integers in ascending order is permuted by a call to g05ncf and the permutation is printed. This is repeated a total of ten times, after initialization by g05kff.

Program Text

Program Text (g05ncfe.f90)

Program Data

Program Data (g05ncfe.d)

Program Results

Program Results (g05ncfe.r)

© The Numerical Algorithms Group Ltd, Oxford, UK. 2017