[R] Using n+1 instances of R to utilise n processors on one machine - something like R with tabbed browsing?

clair.crossupton at googlemail.com clair.crossupton at googlemail.com
Sat Nov 15 19:46:28 CET 2008

Dear R-help,

Please forgive me if any of the following sounds naieve/confused, i've
just got back from a mini-pub-crawl, slightly tipsy, and am feeling
brave to ask a possibly silly question... also, not to shiny on the
technical side of things.

Problem - I need to text mine a collection of 10,000 plain text
documents, all of which are sitting in a single folder. i don't have
any money to buy a database package, and even if i did i have no idea
how that would speed things up if i want to do all the processing in

Assumption - It is my understanding that R can only use one processor
on a machine when handeling calculations. If you wanted to use 4
processors, than you would have to open up 4 seperate instances of R
and share the work between them eg. give each instance of R 25% of the
documents you want processed

Question - It is possible to have one instance of R to divide the
workload, and then that instance opens up 4 other instances of R to do
the processing?

Or, is sometihng akin to tabbed browsing, where you have one main
window and several tabs, each corresponding to a different instance of

appologies if none of hte above made sense  :o)

Clair xx

O/S: Windows Vista
R 2.8.0

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