[R] R recursion depth and stack size
Prof Brian Ripley
ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk
Tue Nov 25 17:09:39 CET 2003
Perhaps you could take the trouble to read the error message, which is
Error in inherits(x, "factor") : evaluation is nested too deeply:
The evaluation depth is controlled by options(expressions=). Increasing
it allows your code to run, albeit very slowly.
On Tue, 25 Nov 2003, Pascal A. Niklaus wrote:
> Hi all,
> I am playing around with latin squares, and wrote a recursive function
> that searches for valid combinations.
> Apart from the fact that there are very many, I run into troubles
> beginning with size 10x10 because the recursion depth becomes too large
> (max of 10x9-1=89 in this case).
> Why is this a problem? Isn't there enough space allocated to the stack?
It is space for expressions. This is a safety check to avoid infinite
recursion overrunning the C-level stack and crashing R (and thereby losing
all the current work). There is no portable way to check the C stack size
and usage that we know of.
> Can this be increased? The memory demand shouldn't be terrible, with
> only minimal local variables (only set and the function params r,c,t - s
> is local to a block called only once when a solution is found). Even if
> variables aren't stored efficiently, a recursion depth of 100 shouldn't
> consume more than a couple of kilobytes.
Why `shouldn't' it? Have you any idea of the storage requirements of R
> Is this a fundamental misunderstanding of the way R works?
It is a misreading of a simple message, for sure.
Brian D. Ripley, ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk
Professor of Applied Statistics, http://www.stats.ox.ac.uk/~ripley/
University of Oxford, Tel: +44 1865 272861 (self)
1 South Parks Road, +44 1865 272866 (PA)
Oxford OX1 3TG, UK Fax: +44 1865 272595
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