[Rd] bus error /segmentation fault from 'approx' (PR#7177)

maechler at stat.math.ethz.ch maechler at stat.math.ethz.ch
Mon Aug 16 16:53:54 CEST 2004

>>>>> "MM" == Martin Maechler <maechler at stat.math.ethz.ch>
>>>>>     on Mon, 16 Aug 2004 14:19:16 +0200 (CEST) writes:

>>>>> "PD" == Peter Dalgaard <p.dalgaard at biostat.ku.dk>
>>>>>     on 16 Aug 2004 12:01:20 +0200 writes:

    PD> j.van_den_hoff at fz-rossendorf.de writes:
    >>> follow up to ID 7166. something like
    >>> approx(c(1,2),c(NA,NA),1.5,rule=2)
    >>> crashes 1.9.1 on both systems (MacOS 10.3.5.: bus error,
    >>> SunOS 5.9: segmentation fault) even if xout is within
    >>> given x range (as in example above) where rule=2 seems
    >>> not be relevant anyway.

      PD> Yes, this is a silly bug in the R driver routine:

      PD> if (nx < 2 && method == "linear")
      PD>    stop("approx requires at least two values to interpolate")
      PD> if (any(na <- is.na(x) | is.na(y))) {
      PD>    ok <- !na
      PD>    x <- x[ok]
      PD>    y <- y[ok]
      PD>    nx <- length(x)
      PD> }

      PD> You want to do the check after removing NAs! 

      PD> Also, we should probably have a check for (nx == 0 && method != "linear")
    MM> yes (2 times)  *and*  'method' is not a string anymore at that
    MM> moment because it has been pmatch()ed.

    MM> I'm going to match.arg() it instead.

(no, I didn't. It's not worth it, since the C code needs the
 integer version anyway.)

    MM> And I see there's more cleanup possible, since,
    MM> xy.coords() already makes sure to return 2 equal length numeric
    MM> components.

    MM> When I do this now, it breaks back compatibility since things
    MM> like (PR#6809)
    MM> approx(list(x=rep(NaN, 9), y=1:9), xout=NaN)
    MM> would give an error instead of (NaN, NaN).

    MM> OTOH, the stop("....") message you cite above was obviously
    MM> *intended* to be triggered for such a case.
    MM> I presume we rather intend to be back compatible?

I'm not so sure anymore:  For approxfun() {which must return a
function() in non-error cases} this would need extra code, just
for a somewhat non-sensical case.
And then, approx() should stay entirely "parallel" to approxfun().

S-plus also simply gives an error in these cases  {but AFAIR, R's
approx has tried to be better here...}

So, I propose to change behavior for all these cases and
produce an error,  for approx() from the following code part :

    if (nx <= 1) {
	if(method == 1)# linear
	    stop("need at least two non-NA values to interpolate")
	if(nx == 0) stop("zero non-NA points")


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