[R-sig-hpc] multithreaded blas. can you smarten me up?

Paul Johnson pauljohn32 at gmail.com
Tue Mar 2 18:26:20 CET 2010

I have been searching for advice about installing R on quad core
systems that exist within a cluster and I came to a post in r-help.
The thread "[R] (performance) time in Windows vs Linux" was pretty
long, and at one point Professor Ripley observed:

On Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 1:59 AM, Prof Brian Ripley
<ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk> wrote:

> The only way that a single R process will be using more than one CPU is if
> you have added a mulithreaded BLAS (and I've never heard of one being used
> successfully with R for Windows) or other add-on such as Luke Tierney's
> pmath[0] packages.  Packages such as snow and multicore run multiple R
> processes.
> I do run a multithreaded BLAS on my 8-core Linux box and do often see 'top'
> well over 100% -- I just tested and saw 798.9%.

Clearly, I need some multithreaded BLAS library. After installing
that, one must re-compile R with the configure option to force it to
use that BLAS.

Does anybody know if it is then necessary to force a re-compile of all
R packages as well?  (here's me wishing they would just take advantage
of R's access to that BLAS, but I doubt it).

Paul E. Johnson
Professor, Political Science
1541 Lilac Lane, Room 504
University of Kansas

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