[R] R does in memory analysis only?

Ross Boylan ross at biostat.ucsf.edu
Sat Feb 7 23:15:54 CET 2004

I wonder if someone would confirm something I'm 99% sure of from the
docs and discussion on the list, but can't find stated explicitly:
R works only on problems that fit into (real or virtual) memory.

Thus, even if you have a problem (e.g., simple regression) that could be
solved by doing some operation on each row of a dataset at a time, you
can't solve it unless the entire dataset and associated intermediate
results fit in memory.

So if you're in 32 bits, your max problem size is about 2G (regular
Windows and Linux limit your process size to this, though I think some
fancy versions let you go a bit higher).

Is there any thought of relaxing this limitation?  I realize doing so
would be a big job.  I also realize that 64 bits makes it much less

Finally, does S-Plus have the same limitation?

Ross Boylan                                      wk:  (415) 502-4031
530 Parnassus Avenue (Library) rm 115-4          ross at biostat.ucsf.edu
Dept of Epidemiology and Biostatistics           fax: (415) 476-9856
University of California, San Francisco
San Francisco, CA 94143-0840                     hm:  (415) 550-1062

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