[R] socket clusters on snow dies easily

A.J. Rossini rossini at blindglobe.net
Thu Apr 8 18:20:07 CEST 2004

I don't think the socket stuff is as well tested as PVM and MPI.
We've had a few problems with PVM via rpvm in the past, but I've not
had problems recently (maybe this message will shake them out) and
LAM-MPI via Rmpi seems a bit more stable (though perhaps less


Rong-En Fan <rafan at infor.org> writes:

> hello,
>   I'm using R 1.8.1 with the lastest snow package on FreeBSD 4.9.
>   However, when I try to using socket clusters, it's very unstable.
>   Sometimes it dies half way when I run parSapply(), sometimes
>   it dies when cluster connection is idle.
>   I create a socket cluster by following cmd
>   cl = makeCluster("foo", type = "SOCK", outfile="/tmp/rafanlog");
>   Then, I just idle in R, and tail -f outfile, I got following:
>   [... some R msgs ...]
> Type 'demo()' for some demos, 'help()' for on-line help, or
> 'help.start()' for a HTML browser interface to help.
> Type 'q()' to quit R.
>> #library(serialize)
>> library(snow)
>> slaveLoop(makeSOCKmaster())
> Error in unserialize(node$con) : error reading from connection
> Execution halted
>   after makeCluster() returns, the outfile hangs around the empty lines
>   above, about 1 minute later, all msg shows up, also it dies.
>   This is reproducible on my machine. Also, one of my friends also 
>   got this result on Linux machines w/ R 1.8.x.
>   Is there any one also encounter this problem?
>   Any comments or suggestion are welcome :)
> Regards,
> Rong-En Fan
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rossini at u.washington.edu            http://www.analytics.washington.edu/ 
Biomedical and Health Informatics   University of Washington
Biostatistics, SCHARP/HVTN          Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
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