[R] Memory Needed for Regression

David Winsemius dwinsemius at comcast.net
Tue Jan 11 00:16:02 CET 2011

On Jan 10, 2011, at 5:28 PM, efreeman wrote:

> I'm looking for a formula for memory usage in standard regression;  
> that
> is, if I have X rows with Y predictors, how much memory is needed? I'm
> speccing out a system, and I'd like to be able to get enough memory
> that we can do some fairly large regressions.

figure 10-12 bytes times X * Y as the size of the matrix or dataframe  
and you will need 4-5 times that amount to do useful work,

You can check my guesstimate on one of my objects:

 > object.size(set1HLI)
5907427736 bytes
 > nrow(set1HLI)
[1] 5325006
 > length(set1HLI)
[1] 166

 > 5907427736/5325006
[1] 1109.375
 > 1109.375/166
[1] 6.682982

So I might have been a bit on the high side with my estimate for  
number of bytes per cell. I have a bunch of constructed factor  
variables that only take 4 bytes per "cell". The byte-to-cell ratio is  
8 for "numeric" variables and 4 for "factor" or "integer" variables,  
plus variable amounts for character variables and "overhead". With my  
other computer activities I end up needing about 24 GB which can holds  
probably 10 regression models ... needing space for vectors of  
predicted values and residuals that are as long as the input, and they  
typically run around 300-500MB.

> ==Ed Freeman
> 	[[alternative HTML version deleted]]
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David Winsemius, MD
West Hartford, CT

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