Compiling R code, and speed up your computation

May 5, 2012

(This article was first published on chem-bla-ics, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

I just ran into this interesting post on the R-bloggers Planet. The described R functionality allows you to compile R code (to byte code) so that it will no longer be interpreted but actually run. That is a performance boost. I guess in due time we will see R use JIT technologies, so that the difference will disappear, but for now, a good thing to know about. Here are the numbers from that post:

> system.time( myFunction() )
   user  system elapsed 
 10.002   0.014  10.021 
> system.time( myCompiledFunction() )
   user  system elapsed 
  0.692   0.008   0.700 

Compiling a function seems pretty easy, and I will give that a try soon, but not today:

> library(compiler)
> myCompiledFunction <- cmpfun(myFunction)

Thanx to Måns at Uppsala University :)

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