[Rd] On R performance

Dirk Eddelbuettel edd at debian.org
Fri Mar 9 16:28:30 CET 2012


On 8 March 2012 at 11:06, Justin Talbot wrote:
| I've been working on an R performance academic project for the last
| couple years which has involved writing an interpreter for R from
| scratch and a JIT for R vector operations.

Cool.  I think John mention that once or twice and I promptly forgot. 

Can you share some numbers?
| So why is R performance poor now? I think the fundamental reason is
| related to software engineering: R is nearly impossible to experiment
| with, so no one tries out new performance techniques on it. There are

Did you compare notes with the CXXR project by Andrew Runnalls and his
student(s)?  See http://www.cs.kent.ac.uk/projects/cxxr/

| I see little value is debating changes to the language semantics until
| we've addressed this low hanging fruit and at least tried to make the
| current R/S semantics run fast.

Fully agree.  

I'd add that helping expand R via the FFI also works, though it is of course
not as easy on the end user as making the core faster.


"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it is too
dark to read." -- Groucho Marx

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