[R] Rserve and R to R communication

Ramon Diaz-Uriarte rdiaz02 at gmail.com
Sat Apr 7 16:56:57 CEST 2007

Dear All,

The "clients.txt" file of the latest Rserve package, by Simon Urbanek,
says, regarding its R client,

"(...) a simple R client, i.e. it allows you to connect to Rserve from
R itself. It is very simple and limited,  because Rserve was not
primarily meant for R-to-R communication (there are better ways to do
that), but it is useful for quick interactive connection to an Rserve

Which are those better ways to do it? I am thinking about using Rserve
to have an R process send jobs to a bunch of Rserves in different
machines. It is like what we could do with Rmpi (or pvm), but without
the MPI layer. Therefore, presumably it'd be easier to deal with
network problems, machine's failures, using checkpoints, etc. (i.e.,
to try to get better fault tolerance).

It seems that Rserve would provide the basic infrastructure for doing
that and saves me from reinventing the wheel of using sockets, etc,
directly from R.

However, Simon's comment about better ways of R-to-R communication
made me wonder if this idea really makes sense. What is the catch?
Have other people tried similar approaches?



Ramon Diaz-Uriarte
Statistical Computing Team
Structural Biology and Biocomputing Programme
Spanish National Cancer Centre (CNIO)

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