[R] R with multiple processors

Thomas Lumley tlumley at u.washington.edu
Thu Feb 15 17:26:36 CET 2001

On Wed, 14 Feb 2001, Isabel Canette wrote:

> Hello.
> The laboratory where I work has the possibility to get a Sun machine with 12
> processors. My question is: can R be used to implememt parallel algorithms
> which take into account the several processors? Is there a way to run *threads*
> in R?
> If this is possible, would somebody share his/her experiences?

It is not possible to run threads in R.  However, it is possible to call
other threaded code, as the R-Java and R-Tcl interfaces demonstrate.  You
could probably call parallel C or Fortran code. Alternatively, for a
problem with fairly low communication requirements you could control
multiple R processes from one central program and feed them each  bits of

I usually want to run any given computation lots of times, so the solution
is easy: instead of running it 1000 times on 1 processor, run it 80 times
on each of 12 processors.


Thomas Lumley			Asst. Professor, Biostatistics
tlumley at u.washington.edu	University of Washington, Seattle

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