# [R] complexity of operations in R

Patrick Burns pburns at pburns.seanet.com
Wed Jul 18 10:06:28 CEST 2012

```It looks to me like the following
should do what you want:

f2 <- function(dotot) array(FALSE, c(dotot, 1))

What am I missing?

Pat

On 17/07/2012 21:58, Johan Henriksson wrote:
> thanks for the link! I should read it through. that said, I didn't find
> any good general solution to the problem so here I post some attempts
> for general input. maybe someone knows how to speed this up. both my
> solutions are theoretically O(n) for creating a list of n elements. The
> function to improve is O(n^2) which should suck tremendously - but the
> slow execution of R probably blows up the constant factor of the smarter
> solutions.
>
> Array doubling comes close in speed for large lists but it would be
> great if it could be comparable for smaller lists. One hidden cost I see
> directly is that allocating a list in R is O(n), not O(1) (or close),
> since it always fills it with values. Is there a way around this? I
> guess by using C, one could just malloc() and leave the content
> undefined - but is there no better way?
>
> thanks,
> /Johan
>
>
> ################################
> # the function we wish to improve
>
> f<-function(dotot){
>    v<-matrix(ncol=1,nrow=0)
>    for(i in 1:dotot){
>      v<-rbind(v,FALSE)
>    }
>    return(v)
> }
>
> ##########################
> # first attempt: linked lists
>
> emptylist <- NA
>
>    return(list(x,prev))
> }
>
> g<-function(dotot){
>    v<-emptylist
>    for(i in 1:dotot){
>    }
>    return(v)
> }
>
> ####################################
> # second attempt: array doubling
>
> emptyexpandlist<-list(nelem=0,l=matrix(ncol=1,nrow=0))
>
>    if(nrow(prev\$l)==prev\$nelem){
>      nextsize<-max(nrow(prev\$l),1)
>      prev\$l<-rbind(prev\$l,matrix(ncol=1,nrow=nextsize))
>    }
>    prev\$nelem<-prev\$nelem+1
>    prev\$l[prev\$nelem]<-x
>    return(prev)
> }
>
> compressexpandlist<-function(prev){
>    return(as.vector(prev\$l[1:prev\$nelem]))
> }
>
> h<-function(dotot){
>    v<-emptyexpandlist
>    for(i in 1:dotot){
>    }
>    return(compressexpandlist(v))
> }
>
> #########################################
>
> dotot=100000
> system.time(f(dotot))
> #system.time(g(dotot))
> system.time(h(dotot))
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> On Tue, Jul 17, 2012 at 8:42 PM, Patrick Burns <pburns at pburns.seanet.com
> <mailto:pburns at pburns.seanet.com>> wrote:
>
>     Johan,
>
>     If you don't know 'The R Inferno', it might
>     help a little.  Circle 2 has an example of
>     how to efficiently (relatively speaking) grow
>     an object if you don't know the final length.
>
>     http://www.burns-stat.com/__pages/Tutor/R_inferno.pdf
>     <http://www.burns-stat.com/pages/Tutor/R_inferno.pdf>
>
>     If you gave a simple example of how your code
>     looks now and what you want it to do, then you
>     might get some ideas of how to improve it.
>
>
>     Pat
>
>
>     On 17/07/2012 12:47, Johan Henriksson wrote:
>
>         Hello!
>         I am optimizing my code in R and for this I need to know a bit
>         the internals. It would help tremendously if someone could link
>         me to a
>         page with O()-complexities of all the operations.
>
>         In this particular case, I need something like a linked list
>         with O(1)
>         insertLast/First ability. I can't preallocate a vector since I
>         do not know
>         the final size of the list ahead of time.
>
>         The classic array-doubling trick would give me O(1) amortized
>         time but it's
>         a bit messy. The other alternative I see would be to recursively
>         store
>         lists (elem, (elem, (elem, (...)))), which I take also would
>         work? But I'd
>         rather go for a standard R solution if there is one!
>
>         cheers,
>         /Johan
>
>
>     --
>     Patrick Burns
>     pburns at pburns.seanet.com <mailto:pburns at pburns.seanet.com>
>     http://www.portfolioprobe.com/__blog
>     <http://www.portfolioprobe.com/blog>
>     http://www.burns-stat.com
>     (home of 'Some hints for the R beginner'
>     and 'The R Inferno')
>
>
>
>
>
> --
> --
> -----------------------------------------------------------
> Johan Henriksson, PhD
> Karolinska Institutet
> Ecobima AB - Custom solutions for life sciences
> http://www.ecobima.se <http://www.ecobima.com> http://mahogny.areta.org
> http://www.endrov.net
>
> <http://www.endrov.net>

--
Patrick Burns
pburns at pburns.seanet.com