[Rd] How to handle INT8 data

Murray Stokely murray at stokely.org
Fri Jan 20 18:09:33 CET 2017

The lack of 64 bit integer support causes lots of problems when dealing
with certain types of data where the loss of precision from coercing to 53
bits with double is unacceptable.

Two packages were developed to deal with this:  int64 and bit64.

You may need to find archival versions of these packages if they've fallen
off cran.

Murray (mobile phone)

On Jan 20, 2017 7:20 AM, "Gabriel Becker" <gmbecker at ucdavis.edu> wrote:

I am not on R-core, so cannot speak to future plans to internally support
int8 (though my impression is that there aren't any, at least none that are
close to fruition).

The standard way of dealing with whole numbers too big to fit in an integer
is to put them in a numeric (double down in C land). this can represent
integers up to 2^53 without loss of precision see (
This is how long vector indices are (currently) implemented in R. If it's
good enough for indices it's probably good enough for whatever you need
them for.

Hope that helps.


On Fri, Jan 20, 2017 at 6:33 AM, Nicolas Paris <nicolas.paris at aphp.fr>

> Hello r users,
> I have to deal with int8 data with R. AFAIK  R does only handle int4
> with `as.integer` function [1]. I wonder:
> 1. what is the better approach to handle int8 ? `as.character` ?
> `as.numeric` ?
> 2. is there any plan to handle int8 in the future ? As you might know,
> int4 is to small to deal with earth population right now.
> Thanks for you ideas,
> int8 eg:
>      human_id
> ----------------------
>  -1311071933951566764
>  -4708675461424073238
>  -6865005668390999818
>   5578000650960353108
>  -3219674686933841021
>  -6469229889308771589
>   -606871692563545028
>  -8199987422425699249
>   -463287495999648233
>   7675955260644241951
> reference:
> 1. https://www.r-bloggers.com/r-in-a-64-bit-world/
> --
> Nicolas PARIS
> ______________________________________________
> R-devel at r-project.org mailing list
> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-devel

Gabriel Becker, PhD
Associate Scientist (Bioinformatics)
Genentech Research

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