[R-sig-hpc] The foreach, iterators and doMC packages

Steve Weston steve at revolution-computing.com
Thu Jul 2 04:56:37 CEST 2009

There have been several announcements of three new packages that I've
recently uploaded to CRAN: foreach, iterators, and doMC.  You can read
one description on David Smith's blog, at:


You can also read the vignette that I wrote for foreach on a CRAN

I would like to mention that one of the goals of the foreach package is
to make it easy to write an R package that allows the end user to choose
what parallel computing engine to use.  That's useful because the user
may already have and use a parallel computing system, and not want to
install and maintain yet another one.  (The foreach and iterators packages
themselves are trivial to install, since they provide a framework for using
parallel computing systems such as multicore and nws.)

Currently, only the doMC "parallel backend" for multicore is publicly
available on CRAN, but I'm hoping to get a chance to write and release
other backend packages, to support MPI and shared memory, for example.

I'd love to hear from R package authors on how to improve foreach
so that it's a more attractive platform on which to develop parallel
applications.  Especially if you've had difficulty using parallel
computing systems in the past.

Steve Weston
REvolution Computing
One Century Tower | 265 Church Street, Suite 1006
New Haven, CT  06510
P: 203-777-7442 x266 | www.revolution-computing.com

More information about the R-sig-hpc mailing list