[R] R Production Performance

Zitan Broth zitan at mediasculpt.net
Wed Sep 24 19:46:41 CEST 2003

Hi James,

Thanks for your response :-)

----- Original Message -----
> It is like anything else that you want to run as part of web services:
> do you want it to do?  Yes, it is fast in doing computations, but what
> you have it do?  It is probably as fast as anything else that you will
> out there that is fairly general purpose.

I just want to use R for mathematical computations, and will call it via PHP
from the commandline with infile. We'll need to obviously test this
ourselves, but I just thought I'd raise the question :-))

> Are you going to be creating a lot of graphics that have to be displayed
> back on the screen?  How is the user going to input data (flat files, XML,
> Excel worksheets, Oracle database, ...)?  Will you be invoking a unique
> process each time a user calls, or will you be using a 'daemon' that will
> communicate with DCOM and such?  How many people will be trying to access
> it once and what is the mix of transactions that they will use?

Well for sure the rest of the app needs to scale as well and be fast,
failsafe etc..., but I am just asking about R.

I was imagining using a unique process call each time I access R, which is
how the apache/php/*nix environment works best (although keeping processes
in memory is achievable as well).  My experience to date on integration with
C packages deploying to *nix is that this works quite effectively although
certain packages require process management that are not multiprocess (to
ensure that R for example only executes one computation at a time), but this
is no problem. There are ways to call c packages directly with PHP (swig)
and I am investigating this at present.

> You can probably get a real good feel by enclosing the operations that you
> want to do in a "system.time" function to see how long it will take.  This
> really depends on what you are trying to do.  I can definitely say that it
> is faster than trying to code the algorithm in PERL or another scripting
> language.

Makes sense because R is written in C, where PERL and PHP are also written
in C, so R is a "layer deep" so to speak :-)

Thanks again,

> Greetings All,
> Been playing with R and it is very easy to get going with the UI or infile
> batch commands :-)
> What I am wondering is how scalable and fast R is for running as part of a
> web service.  I believe R is written in C which is a great start, but what
> are peoples general thoughts on this?
> Thanks greatly,
> Z.
>              [[alternative HTML version deleted]]
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