[Rd] OpenBLAS in everyday R?

Dirk Eddelbuettel edd at debian.org
Sat Dec 16 22:01:22 CET 2017


On 17 December 2017 at 09:28, Kenny Bell wrote:
| Hi R-devel list,
| OpenBLAS is readily available for unix-likes:
| https://cloud.r-project.org/web/packages/gcbd/vignettes/gcbd.pdf

Please consider re-reading this vignette of mine. BLAS is an interface,
OpenBLAS is but one implementation.  R has allowed you to switch between
different implementations for a long time (if you used a shared library
build), and illustrating / measuring the possible performance differences is
the whole point of the gcbd benchmarking package.
| However, my questions are:
| 1) Would R-devel consider using OpenBLAS for the main distribution of R for
| all platforms including Windows?
| 2) If so, would R-devel set the default multi-thread level to the number of
| (real) cores on a machine?

It's complicated. If you fork at the process-level (with package parallel or
one of the many other mechansim) and then also used multi-threaded BLAS you
can starve yourself for resources quickly.
| My sense is there're a lot of wasted resources on laptops and personal
| desktops around the world that could be utilised by such a switch. I
| believe most unix-like users don't know about OpenBLAS and are blissfully
| ignorant of the available speed gains. It seems to be quite difficult for a
| typical Windows user to get this done today.

Many things a developer / power-user would do are very difficult on
Windows. It is one of the charms of the platform. On the other hand you do
get a few solitaire games so I guess everybody is happy.

| Thanks heaps,
| Kenny
| 	[[alternative HTML version deleted]]
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http://dirk.eddelbuettel.com | @eddelbuettel | edd at debian.org

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