[R] R crashing inconsistently within for loops

Jeff Newmiller jdnewmil at dcn.davis.CA.us
Fri Dec 28 10:04:36 CET 2012

You are not wrong to expect R to not crash. However, R (as most people use it) is not monolithic, and you have provided neither reproducible code nor sessionInfo() with the relevant packages loaded to help anyone interested in investigating the problem. You are the most likely person to be able to generate sample code that reproduces your problem, even if imperfectly.
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Steve Powers <powers_s at nd.edu> wrote:

>This one has been bugging me for a long time and I have never found a
>solution. I am using R version 2.15.1 but it has come up in older
>versions of R I have used over the past 2-3 years.
>Q: Am I wrong to expect that R should handle hundreds of iterations of
>base model or statistical functions, embedded within for loops, in one
>script run? I have found that when I write scripts that do this,
>they have a tendency to crash, seemingly unpredictably.
>For example, one problem script of mine employs glm and gls about a
>different times, and output files are being written at the end of each
>iteration. I have used my output files to determine that the crash
>cause is
>not consistent (R never fails at the same iteration). Note that the
>data are
>fixed here (no data generation or randomization steps, so that is not
>issue). But it is clear that scripts with larger numbers of iterations
>more likely to produce a crash.
>And a year or two ago, I had a seemingly stable R script again with for
>looped model fits, but discovered this script was prone to crashing
>when I
>ran it on a newer PC. Because the new PC also seemed to be blazing
>through R
>code absurdly fast, I tried adding a short "fluff" procedure at the end
>each iteration that required a few seconds of processing time. Low and
>behold, when I added that, the script stopped crashing (and each
>of course took longer). I still don't understand why that fixed things.
>What is going on? Solutions? Thanks.---steve

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