[R] Reading in large file in pieces

Ales Ziberna aleszib at gmail.com
Fri Dec 23 08:36:00 CET 2005

See ?scan
or maybe ?readLines

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Sean Davis" <sdavis2 at mail.nih.gov>
To: "r-help" <r-help at stat.math.ethz.ch>
Sent: Friday, December 23, 2005 12:08 AM
Subject: [R] Reading in large file in pieces

I have a large file (millions of lines) and would like to read it in pieces.
The file is logically separated into little modules, but these modules do
not have a common size, so I have to scan the file to know where they are.
They are independent, so I don't have to read one at the end to interpret
one at the beginning.  Is there a way to read one line at a time and parse
it on the fly and do so quickly, or do I need to read say 100k lines at a
time and then work with those?  Only a small piece of each module will
remain in memory after parsing is completed on each module.

My direct question is:  Is there a fast way to parse one line at a time
looking for breaks between "modules", or am I better off taking large but
manageable chunks from the file and parsing that chunk all at once?


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