[R] memory problems

Peter Dalgaard BSA p.dalgaard at biostat.ku.dk
Fri Jan 24 14:49:02 CET 2003

ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk writes:

> > However my machine has 2GB of memory and without R running I only have
> > 112M of memory used.
> How much memory is it actually using?  It is complaining about allocating
> an *additional* 450Mb.  Look at top / Task Manager / whatever.

It's not the first time we're seeing that type of question. I wonder
if we could make the error message more informative. Not that it is
going to make the problem go away, but it could help put the user in
the picture. It's a bit tricky, because there are limits to what you
can make the system do in an out of memory condition. One idea might
be to keep tabs on the total amount of memory allocated and freed.
However, there are issues of counter overruns to deal with, and you'd
still have to explain to people that not all free memory is available
for allocation; you really only need to allocate a handful of *bytes*
sufficiently unfortunately spaced to make it impossible to find a
450MB contiguous block in a 2GB address space.

   O__  ---- Peter Dalgaard             Blegdamsvej 3  
  c/ /'_ --- Dept. of Biostatistics     2200 Cph. N   
 (*) \(*) -- University of Copenhagen   Denmark      Ph: (+45) 35327918
~~~~~~~~~~ - (p.dalgaard at biostat.ku.dk)             FAX: (+45) 35327907

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