[R] Splitting Area under curve into equal portions

Nathan S. Watson-Haigh nathan.watson-haigh at csiro.au
Thu Mar 26 02:48:41 CET 2009

Hash: SHA1

I have some data generated as follows:

n <- 2000
work <- vector()
for(x in 1:n) {
  work[x] <- sum(1:(n-x+1))

What I want to do
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I want to split work into a number of unequal chunks such that the sum of the
values in each chunk is approximately equal.

The numbers in "work" are proportional to the amount of work to be performed for
each value of x by a function I've written. i.e. For each value of x, there are
work[x] * y calculations to be performed (where y is a constant).

I've written a parallel version of my function where I simply assign z number of
x values to each slave. This is not ideal, since a slave that gets the 1:z
smallest values of x will take longer to compute than the (n-z+1):n set of x
values. For example, if I have 4 slaves available:

slave 1 processes x in 1:500
slave 2 processes x in 501:1000
slave 3 processes x in 1001:1500
slave 4 processes x in 1501:2000

This means the total work performed by each slave is:

slave 1 sum(work[1:500])     = 771708500
slave 2 sum(work[501:1000])  = 396458500
slave 3 sum(work[1001:1500]) = 146208500
slave 4 sum(work[1501:2000]) = 20958500

Manually plitting work into chunks where the sum of the values for the chunks is
approximately equal, I get the following:

[1] 335533384
> sum(work[185:415])
[1] 334897871
> sum(work[416:745])
[1] 334672085
> sum(work[746:2000])
[1] 330230660

I need to be able to do this automatically for any value of n and I think I
should be able to do this by calculating the area under the curve and slicing it
into equally sized regions, but don't really know how to get there from what
I've said above!


- --
- --------------------------------------------------------
Dr. Nathan S. Watson-Haigh
OCE Post Doctoral Fellow
CSIRO Livestock Industries
Queensland Bioscience Precinct
St Lucia, QLD 4067

Tel: +61 (0)7 3214 2922
Fax: +61 (0)7 3214 2900
Web: http://www.csiro.au/people/Nathan.Watson-Haigh.html
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