[R] DCom / StatConnector / Windows-Cygnus-Gcc ?

Pierre Kleiber pkleiber at honlab.nmfs.hawaii.edu
Thu Oct 5 20:10:19 CEST 2000

I used to do much the same thing with Splus and Unix where the files
connecting Splus and a simulation model were named pipes.  Got the
idea from an example in the old Splus Programmer's Manual.  No reason
the same approach should not work w/ R and Linux.  Don't know about
NT though.

Michael Camann wrote:
> Oliver--
> I used to do this sort of thing extensively wirh S-plus on a unix box, but
> perhaps the same strategy will work under R-windows as well.  The key was
> to write the simulation program as an independent, standalone routine that
> read its input parameters from a text file and output its results to
> another file.  Then, it was easy to write an S-plus wrapper program that
> used system calls to write the desired parameters to the input file, run
> the model as a spawned process, and then suck in the model output file for
> display, analyses, etc.  It isn't strictly necessary to use the wrapper
> function as both a front end and back end, but that's handy because it
> allows you to write a function that will re-run the simulation routine
> with parameters modified according to the analyses of the output from
> previous runs.  This allows the routine to automatically do things like
> brute force optimization of the input parameters, explore interesting
> regions of the parameter space, etc.  I spent a fair amount of my later
> grad school years enjoying myself in the local beer hall while my S-plus
> wrapper chugged away on thousands of simulation runs in my absence....
> I assume there is some equivalent way to invoke a shell and execute a
> command in R-win(?).  Sorry, I can't check at present because I'm not
> using a windows box.  If this approach won't work for R-win you might want
> to install linux!
> Oh-- one other thing-- I think this is easier than passing control to your
> simulation via .C calls because it allows the simulation to manage all of
> its own variables and memory use.  Since the compiled code is typically
> far faster than R, and since the output can be read in at the end of the
> simulation run, there is no need for complicated memory structures in most
> simulations-- the current model state can simply be appended to the output
> file after each time step.
> --Mike C.
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> Michael A. Camann                                  Voice: 707-826-3676
> Assistant Professor of Zoology                       Fax: 707-826-3201
> Institute for Forest Canopy Research     Email: mac24 at axe.humboldt.edu
> Department of Biology                            ifcr at axe.humboldt.edu
> Humboldt State University
> Arcata, CA 95521
>                  URL:http://www.humboldt.edu/~mac24/
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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Pierre Kleiber             Email: pkleiber at honlab.nmfs.hawaii.edu
Fishery Biologist                     Tel: 808 983-5399/737-7544
NOAA FISHERIES - Honolulu Laboratory         Fax: 808 983-2902
2570 Dole St., Honolulu, HI 96822-2396 
 "God could have told Moses about galaxies and mitochondria and
  all.  But behold... It was good enough for government work."
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