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

David Winsemius dwinsemius at comcast.net
Mon Jul 15 08:27:25 CEST 2013

On Jul 14, 2013, at 8:24 PM, L S wrote:

> Thanks Jim and David for your helpful feedback.  I still have not terminated RStudio (and it still has not gone to completion).  A few observations I forgot to mention is that the red "stop" icon is showing in RStudio so I am unable to enter any new commands.  Also there is a blinking cursor under the "> command" I ran with no > before the cursor.

 I thought I mentioned that these questions are off-topic on Rhelp. They should be directed to a different mailing list, either the Mac-SIG-mailing list or the RStudio list.

> David--Looking at the activity monitor, RStudio is using anywhere from 0.4-1% of CPU while another process called rsession is using anywhere from 17-23% CPU.  Does this mean it has given up processing the R command?

No. In fact the opposite, but you obviously have a great deal more patience than I do. I would long ago have shutdown R (using the force-quit functions from the "Apple menu" and then restarted.) I generally notice around 100%  in the % "CPU column" in the table whin R is active, although the scrolling "CPU Usage" graphic at teh bottom of thepage will max out at 25% because the R process is not distributed across all 4 cores.

>   If so, is there anything I can do to ensure this won't happen next time I try to run the command with my data?

If you do not tell us exactly what the command was _and_ the size and structure of the data involved, it is unlikely that we can tell you much of anything. 

> (Also, how can you tell if the process is using virtual memory?)

One of the columns in the CPU activity monitor is labeled "Virtual Mem". If it is being used the number will change.

> Jim--What I'm running now is just a single instruction using the split function, so I would not be able to put in the progress messages.  But, that's a great idea! I will keep that in mind if I run into problems with scripts in the future.
> Thank you.
> On Sun, Jul 14, 2013 at 6:46 PM, jim holtman <jholtman at gmail.com> wrote:
> If you are writing a script that you know will take a long time to process, "pepper" it with "progress" reports so you know what part of the script it is in and when it is going around loop.  On some of my long scripts, I will print out a message every n'th time through the loop so that I know if it making progress.  I position them so that I get out a message every minute or so.  Also make sure the GUI is not buffered, or better, follow each status with a 'flush.console()' to put the message out to the screen.  This will give you a feeling of what progress you are making.  
> On Sun, Jul 14, 2013 at 5:40 PM, L S <losedaghat at gmail.com> 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?  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?
> Any guidance you could offer would be much appreciated.
> Thanks,
> Lily

David Winsemius
Alameda, CA, USA

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