[R-sig-hpc] recursion depth limitations

Suzen, Mehmet msuzen at gmail.com
Thu Dec 13 22:31:25 CET 2012

On 13 December 2012 17:52, Simon Urbanek <simon.urbanek at r-project.org> wrote:
> Because it's far beyond what you can handle without changing a lot of other things. 500k expressions will require at least about 320Mb of stack (!) in the eval() chain alone -- compare that to the 8Mb stack size which is default in most OSes, so you'll hit the wall way before that limit is reached.

Thank you for the explanation. Sorry to be dummy on this but why one
need a stack? I thought pointing to itself
has no memory cost for a function. Is it about how compilers designed
or about R being dynamic language?

>> While some algorithms are only "solvable"  feasibility with recursion
>> and 500K sounds not too much i.e. graph algorithms
>> for example dependency trees with large nodes easily reach to that number.
> I don't see how "large nodes" have anything to do with this since we are talking about expression depth, not about sizes of any kind.
> Again, in any realistic example you'll hit other limits first anyway.

I was thinking about very big tree with large depth, so each recursion
step may correspond to one leaf. Well not sure what
would be the application that has million depth, maybe a genetic algorithm.


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