[R-SIG-Mac] lme4 crashes R

Douglas Bates bates at wisc.edu
Thu Aug 5 22:36:37 CEST 2004

Simon Urbanek wrote:
> On Aug 5, 2004, at 12:55 PM, Andrew Beckerman wrote:
>> has anyone had success at building and running the source distribution 
>> of lme4 from CRAN on OSX?  I find that it builds, and will load as a 
>> library, but running the lme example in lme4 causes R to crash - the 
>> data file loads, the model appears to run, but attempting a summary() 
>> or print() causes the crash.
> It's a bug which is not OS X specific. Attached you'll find a patch with 
> the fix. I suspect that the reason is that lme4 uses direct calls to C 
> code of Matrix (why doesn't Matrix provide R-level interface for this? I 
> thought calling C code of another package is strongly discouraged...), 
> the interface changed and one of those calls was not fixed.

The reason that the R code in lme4 calls C code from the Matrix package 
directly is the usual reason - efficiency - and an unusual reason - some 
of the C code in for use with the lme4 models requires access to some of 
the sparse matrix code in C.  You can have an R function in package A 
call a C function in package B but you can't have a C function in 
package A call a C function in package B.  Thus we need to put all the C 
code for the lme4 package in the Matrix package.

Thanks for the reminder.

More information about the R-SIG-Mac mailing list