[R] Random Forests in R

Liaw, Andy andy_liaw at merck.com
Thu Dec 1 17:29:55 CET 2011

The first version of the package was created by re-writing the main program in the original Fortran as C, and calls other Fortran subroutines that were mostly untouched, so dynamic memory allocation can be done.  Later versions have most of the Fortran code translated/re-written in C.  Currently the only Fortran part is the node splitting in classification trees.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: r-help-bounces at r-project.org 
> [mailto:r-help-bounces at r-project.org] On Behalf Of Peter Langfelder
> Sent: Thursday, December 01, 2011 12:33 AM
> To: Axel Urbiz
> Cc: R-help at r-project.org
> Subject: Re: [R] Random Forests in R
> On Wed, Nov 30, 2011 at 7:48 PM, Axel Urbiz 
> <axel.urbiz at gmail.com> wrote:
> > I understand the original implementation of Random Forest 
> was done in
> > Fortran code. In the source files of the R implementation 
> there is a note
> > "C wrapper for random forests:  get input from R and drive  
the Fortran
> > routines.". I'm far from an expert on this...does that mean that the
> > implementation in R is through calls to C functions only 
> (not Fortran)?
> >
> > So, would knowing C be enough to understand this code, or 
> Fortran is also
> > necessary?
> I haven't seen the C and Fortran code for Random Forest but I
> understand the note to say that R code calls some C functions that
> pre-process (possibly re-format etc) the data, then call the actual
> Random Forest method that's written in Fortran, then possibly
> post-process the output and return it to R. It would imply that to
> understand the actual Random Forest code, you will have to read the
> Fortran source code.
> Best,
> Peter
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