I'm trying to randomly shuffle an collection of integers within a List and I have came up with two shuffling method that does the job. However, I'm not sure which one works better. Does any one have any comments or suggestions?

public class TheCollectionInterface {

    public static <E> void swap(List<E> list1, int i, int j){
        E temp = list1.get(i);
        list1.set(i, list1.get(j));
        list1.set(j, temp);

//alternative version    
//    public static void shuffling(List<?> list, Random rnd){
//        for(int i = list.size(); i >= 1; i--){
//            swap(list, i - 1, rnd.nextInt(i));
//        }
//    }

    public static <E> void shuffling(List<E> list1, Random rnd){
        for(int i = list1.size(); i >= 1; i--){
            swap(list1, i - 1, rnd.nextInt(list1.size()));

    public static void main(String[] args) {

        List<Integer> li2 = Arrays.asList(1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9);

        Random r1 = new Random();

        TheCollectionInterface.shuffling(li2, r1);

  • \$\begingroup\$ Did you consider Collections.shuffle()? \$\endgroup\$
    – Legato
    Mar 12, 2016 at 2:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ yes, that's another alternative, but I just want to come up with a shuffling method myself, practice with the logic :) \$\endgroup\$
    – Thor
    Mar 12, 2016 at 2:28

1 Answer 1


Your algorithm doesn't have simple uniform distribution over !n. Your alternative do has it, is actually a known algorithm named Fisher–Yates shuffle.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you very much for the comment! Could you please explain in a bit more detail why my algorithm doesn't have simple uniform distribution over !n? \$\endgroup\$
    – Thor
    Mar 12, 2016 at 3:41

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