[R] Creating R packages, passing by reference and oo R.

Roger Gill roger.gill1979 at yahoo.co.uk
Mon Apr 5 13:35:33 CEST 2010

Dear All,

I would like some advice on creating R packages, passing by reference and oo R.

I have created a package that is neither elegant nor extensible and rather cumbersome (it works). I would like to re write the code to make the package distributable (should it be of interest) and easy to maintain.

The package is for Bayesian model determination via a reversible jump algorithm and has currently been written to minimise computational expense.

At every iteration of the MCMC I make a call to a likelihood function. Here, I pass by value a matrix containing the explanatory variables of the current model and this is quite costly if X is quite large. This matrix could change at every iteration (it's certainly proposed). Ideally I would pass by reference (a pointer in C, \@ in perl etc...) and allow the user to specify this function should they so desire. This is where I become a little stuck.

I have searched the lists, used google and not found a accepted solution. How do I pass by ref? What are my options? Can you point me towards some suitable reading? Are there any good examples? How have others overcome this problem.

Thanks in advance,

best wishes


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