[R] naive question

rivin@euclid.math.temple.edu rivin at euclid.math.temple.edu
Wed Jun 30 19:56:43 CEST 2004

> I suspect that what has happened is that memory, CPU speed, and I/O
> speed  have evolved at different rates, so what used to be acceptable
> code in  read.table() (in both R and S-plus) is now showing its
> limitations and has  reached the point where it can take half an hour to
> read in, on a  readily-available computer, the largest data table that
> can be comfortably  handled.  I'm speculating, but 10 years ago,  on a
> readily available  computer, did it take half an hour to read in the
> largest data table that  could be comfortably handled in S-plus or R?

I did not use R ten years ago, but "reasonable" RAM amounts have
multiplied by roughly a factor of 10 (from 128Mb to 1Gb), CPU speeds have
gone up by a factor of 30 (from 90Mhz to 3Ghz), and disk space availabilty
has gone up probably by a factor of 10. So, unless the I/O performance
scales nonlinearly with size (a bit strange but not inconsistent with my R
experiments), I would think that things should have gotten faster (by the
wall clock, not slower). Of course, it is possible that the other
components of the R system have been worked on more -- I am not equipped
to comment...



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