[R] Out of memory

Nikolaus Hansen Nikolaus.Hansen at ingene.de
Thu Aug 22 11:27:09 CEST 2002

> > But you did not comment all the reasonable commands I typed in
> > (Andy added on another one) without getting a reasonable 
> > response from R.
> > Why not? Thus it seemed to me that you would expect and accept that
> > kind of behaviour of R: E.g. loading some data into memory 
> > which exceed
> > the recent memory size will result in refusing any further command
> > (more precise: getting a prompt and an invariable response to any
> > typed command). This is not exactly helpful...
> Would you prefer the process to be terminated?  

No. Even tough in effect there were no difference. 

> You used up all the
> resources allocated to R.  None could be freed by garbage collection.
> What was R supposed to do?  There was no memory left to do 
> anything else
> in.

Easy to say what I would expect from the users point of view: An error message if I try to use too much memory and afterwards the possibility to free memory, e.g. by rm(some.of.my.data) and/or do a garbage collection. I have no idea if this would be difficult to ensure under any circumstances. 

> I think this circumstance is very rare (normally you get enough memory
> back to do something).  I would prefer it to allowing R to 
> take over all
> the VM on a computer, when you probably need to reboot. Those 
> who have not
> seen this happen on a departmental server (say) should 
> consider themselves
> fortunate.  

Yes, I do. 

Thanks for the reply,
Nikolaus Hansen
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