[R] Rserve and R to R communication

Paul Gilbert pgilbert at bank-banque-canada.ca
Mon Apr 9 20:46:01 CEST 2007

Matthew Keller wrote:
> Hi Ramon,
> I've been interested in responses to your question. I have what I
> think is a similar issue - I have a very large simulation script and
> would like to be able to modularize it by having a main script that
> calls lots of subscripts - 
For simulations you need to worry about the random number generator 
sequence.  I think snow has a scheme for handling this. If you devise 
your own system then be sure to look after this (non-trivial) detail.

Paul Gilbert
> but I haven't done that yet because the
> only way I could think to do it was to call a subscript, have it run,
> save the objects from the subscript, and then call those objects back
> into the main script, which seems like a very slow and onerous way to
> do it.
> Would Rserve do what I'm looking for?
> On 4/7/07, Ramon Diaz-Uriarte <rdiaz02 at gmail.com> wrote:
>> 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
>> farm."
>> 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?
>> Thanks,
>> R.
>> --
>> Ramon Diaz-Uriarte
>> Statistical Computing Team
>> Structural Biology and Biocomputing Programme
>> Spanish National Cancer Centre (CNIO)
>> http://ligarto.org/rdiaz
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La version française suit le texte anglais.


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