# ETOOBUSY đźš€ minimal blogging for the impatient

# Rejection method

**TL;DR**

Letâ€™s take a closer look at the [rejection method][].

In A 4-faces die from a 6-faces die we used the *rejection method*
to generate a D4 die using a D6: just roll it, and remove whatever does
not fit your needs.

It turns out that this idea can be generalized to generate more complex
samples, based on *whatever* probability density function.

The following example describes a probability density function, with the non-trivial constraint that its possible values on the $x$ axis are limited between $0$ and $a$:

Letâ€™s simplify, and encapsulate this *complicated* function within
something simpler:

Of course this is not a probability density, but itâ€™s easy to rescale it and get one, i.e. a uniform distribution between $0$ and $a$:

# Letâ€™s give it a try

Now, letâ€™s generate a random number with this uniform density: as a matter of fact, weâ€™re generating a number on the $x$ axis that is within the range where our original density $p(x)$ is non-zero:

On the $y$ dimension, this lets us isolate a segment corresponding to that specific value of $x$ and extending from $0$ up to the total height of the containing rectangle:

We can now generate another random number *within* this segment, again
using a uniform distribution:

Now itâ€™s time to *accept* this random draw or *reject* it. Whatever goes
*above* the target $p(x)$ will be *rejected*, whatever goes under is
*accepted*. In this case, we have a rejection.

Time for a new try, then!

# Letâ€™s try again

Like before, we first generate a value on the $x$ dimension:

This gives us a new vertical segment:

At this point, we can draw another uniform value in the vertical range:

It seems that we were lucky this time: the value generated is *below*
the corresponding value of $p(x)$ for the same $x$, so we *accept* this
draw.

# Will it work?

Without delving in a formal demonstration, itâ€™s easy to see that this technique is going to work. Doing a lot of attempts, we end up with something like this:

On the other hand, letâ€™s remember that all the red crosses are rejected, so we can just as well ignore them and obtain this:

This, indeed, is very close to drawing samples from the target $p(x)$, isnâ€™t it?

*Comments? Octodon, , GitHub, Reddit, or drop me a line!*