[Rd] Snow or alternative MPI packages on Windows

Luke Tierney luke at stat.uiowa.edu
Mon Jul 21 18:18:16 CEST 2008

On Thu, 17 Jul 2008, Jay Emerson wrote:

> Giuseppe,
> I've been able to use NetWorkSpaces on all platforms, and have used
> snow under Linux.  It's possible to use snow under windows, but you'll
> need to build the binary yourself I think.  As an aside, I think this
> makes it impossible to write a CRAN-friendly package that Requires: or
> Suggests: snow, because it will fail the windows check.  It would be
> great if we could get around this some way, but I know this topic has
> been covered before (the subtle nature of Suggests: in particular, and
> what it really means).  I would like to add SNOW support to two of my
> own packages, bcp and bigmemory.

Hopefully Windows binaries for snow will become available before long
now that snow works on Windows with at least socket and MPI back ends.

The current version of snow also supports NWS as a communication back
end, thanks to code contributed by the NWS folks.



> SNOW and NWS are similarly easy to use, at least at the superficial
> level which has been my experience.
> With NWS, you need both the package (nws, available on CRAN), and a
> NWS server (open-source, available on sourceforge).  But REvolution
> has a Windows installer available, and are working to make the whole
> process easier on the end user/developer on all platforms.  I started
> a rough page to help in the interim, and will update it as thing
> change to assist the end user/developer:
> http://www.stat.yale.edu/~jay/nws/
> Jay
> << original message below >>
> Guys,
> I'm running R on both Windows & Linux. I'm looking at a number of packages
> for parallel execution. It seems that the most used packages are "snow" and
> "Rmpi".
> snow seems more user friendly, but it doesn't run on windows. I see from
> searching the mailing list that I'm not the first one to try it on Windows.
> There was a message that kind of shed some hope on the subject, but nothing
> else.
> Rmpi works well on windows (with DeinoMPI) but it's kind of low level, so
> before I embark in writing code similar to snow to have some high level
> constructs I though I'd ask here about other peoples experiences...
> Is anyone around here doing parallel R on Windows? If so could you share
> your experience?
> // Giuseppe

Luke Tierney
Chair, Statistics and Actuarial Science
Ralph E. Wareham Professor of Mathematical Sciences
University of Iowa                  Phone:             319-335-3386
Department of Statistics and        Fax:               319-335-3017
    Actuarial Science
241 Schaeffer Hall                  email:      luke at stat.uiowa.edu
Iowa City, IA 52242                 WWW:  http://www.stat.uiowa.edu

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