[R] Does R ever stop responding without a message?

David Winsemius dwinsemius at comcast.net
Mon Jul 15 00:42:23 CEST 2013

On Jul 14, 2013, at 2:40 PM, L S wrote:

> Hi,
> Have any of you ever encountered a situation where R stops processing an
> instruction but does not give a "not responding" message?
> The reason I ask is I am working in RStudio (Mac OS/X 10.7, 1.8 Ghz i7, 4
> GB DDR3) and the instruction I entered in the command line pane is still
> being processed since last night around 7 PM.  I expected it to take on the
> order of 8-12 hours to complete, but I'm nearing 24 hours with no progress,
> no messages, etc.
> The command is essentially splitting the a ppp (marked point pattern) into
> a tessellation/grid.  There are about a couple million points in the
> pattern and each has a vector of four marks.  That said, I processed a
> similar command with 700,000 points in the pattern (each point with a
> vector of two marks) yesterday and it took only around 3 hours.
> Is there anyway I can be certain the command is being processed?

Well, this answer only addresses whether the R program is "active": Use the Activity Monitor.app looking at teh CPU panel. The process name is R and, this being a Mac, you even get a micro-R-logo. At "idling speed" it will only display 1% or so. When it is active the cpu-%-age will "bounce around" near 100%.

>  I don't
> want to abort prematurely if I know it will go to completion.  How long
> would you give it before you knew for certain it would not complete?

If you have pushed your process over the bounds of available RAM and it is now using "virtual memory", there is really no way to estimate the complettion time. I generally give up after about 15 or 20 minutes. 

This does mean that the best practice will have been to make sure you have saved you work before terminating the session. The R GUI is helpful in this regard because it automatically backs up open source documents at intervals. Unfortunately that is not also true for the history session, which is only updated at a normal termination of a session.
> Any guidance you could offer would be much appreciated.
> Thanks,
> Lily
> 	[[alternative HTML version deleted]]

This is not the correct mailing list for this question, and you should also read what the Posting Guide says about not using HTML format.


David Winsemius
Alameda, CA, USA

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