[R] Linear models over large datasets

Daniel Lakeland dlakelan at street-artists.org
Thu Aug 16 22:57:14 CEST 2007

On Thu, Aug 16, 2007 at 03:24:08PM -0500, Alp ATICI wrote:
> I'd like to fit linear models on very large datasets. My data frames
> are about 2000000 rows x 200 columns of doubles and I am using an 64
> bit build of R. I've googled about this extensively and went over the
> "R Data Import/Export" guide. My primary issue is although my data
> represented in ascii form is 4Gb in size (therefore much smaller
> considered in binary), R consumes about 12Gb of virtual memory.

One option is to simply buy more memory, which might work for you in
this case, but in larger cases, is not scalable.

I'm not sure how to make R happier with handling large datasets, but
you may be able to use the power of random sampling to help you?

Read the data from mysql, selecting a random 10% subset. This should
use 1.2 Gb or so. You then fit the model to this subset. Repeat the
procedure 100 times using independent samples. Now you have
bootstrapped the coefficients of your model. Use the average value and
standard deviation of the coefficients as your coefficient estimates
and standard errors??

Since swapping is typically 1000 times slower or more than disk
access, this process might take 1/10 of the time or less compared to
letting the R process thrash its disk.

It's a thought, not sure how well it works.

Daniel Lakeland
dlakelan at street-artists.org

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