[R] (no subject)

Jonathan Williams jonathan.williams at pharmacology.oxford.ac.uk
Thu Feb 13 16:40:03 CET 2003

Dear R helpers,

I have a curious problem, which is that a program I have written in R
crashes R, unpredictably. When I say that the program crashes R, I mean
that it causes R to terminate, completely. But, the operating system
(Windows) continues OK.

The program loops around a randomForest regression. I am trying to use
randomForest to predict the diagnosis for a set of patients with dementia.
I have 140 patients, of whom 125 have one kind of dementia and 15 have
a different kind. We have measured about 50 variables for each patient.
The program repeatedly and randomly splits the 150 patients into 75:25 
groupings. Then it 'trains' the randomForest using the 75% grouping, then 
it 'predicts' the remaining 25% of cases. I save the predictions and at
the end compute a Receiver Operating Characteristic curve.

The program will work away happily for hours and will sometimes perform
as many as 100 cycles around the above loop. It gives quite nice results.
But, quite frequently, and unpredictably, it fails and R just stops. As I 
say, the operating system continues and any other programs that are multi-
tasking are unaffected.

If anyone could give me an idea on how to avoid this problem, I'd be


Jonathan Williams

Jonathan Williams
Radcliffe Infirmary
Woodstock Road
Tel +1865 (2)24356

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