snowfall-d-tools: Cluster tools

snowfall-toolsR Documentation

Cluster tools


Tools for cluster usage. Allow easier handling of cluster programming.


sfLibrary( package, pos=2,
           lib.loc=NULL, character.only=FALSE,
           verbose=getOption("verbose"), version,
           stopOnError=TRUE )
sfSource( file, encoding = getOption("encoding"), stopOnError = TRUE )
sfExport( ..., list=NULL, local=TRUE, namespace=NULL, debug=FALSE, stopOnError = TRUE )
sfExportAll( except=NULL, debug=FALSE )

sfRemove( ..., list=NULL, master=FALSE, debug=FALSE )
sfRemoveAll( except=NULL, debug=FALSE, hidden=TRUE )

sfCat( ..., sep=" ", master=TRUE )

sfClusterSplit( seq )
sfClusterCall( fun, ..., stopOnError=TRUE )
sfClusterEval( expr, stopOnError=TRUE )

sfClusterSetupRNG( type="RNGstream", ... )
sfClusterSetupRNGstream( seed=rep(12345,6), ... )
sfClusterSetupSPRNG( seed=round(2^32*runif(1)), prngkind="default", para=0, ... )




expression to evaluate


vector to split


function to call


character vector with names of objects to export


a logical indicating if variables should taken from local scope(s) or only from global.


a character given a namespace where to search for the object.


a logical indicating extended information is given upon action to be done (e.g. print exported variables, print context of local variables etc.).


character vector with names of objects not to export/remove


also remove hidden names (starting with a dot)?


a character string separating elements in x


a logical indicating if executed on master as well


additional arguments to pass to standard function


name of the package. Check library for details.


position in search path to load library.


warn on conflicts (see "library").


see "library". Please note: this argument has only effect on R-2.x, starting with R-3.0 it will only be a placeholder for backward compatibility.


enable verbose messages.


version of library to load (see "library").


encoding of library to load (see "library").


a character vector describing the location of the R library trees to search through, or 'NULL'. Check library for details.


a logical indicating package can be assumed to be a character string. Check library for details.


filename of file to read. Check source for details


a logical indicating if function stops on failure or still returns. Default is TRUE.


a character determine which random number generator should be used for clusters. Allowed values are "RNGstream" for L'Ecuyer's RNG or "SPRNG" for Scalable Parallel Random Number Generators.


additional parameters for the RNGs.


Seed for the RNG.


type of RNG, see snow documentation.


The current functions are little helpers to make cluster programming easier. All of these functions also work in sequential mode without any further code changes.

sfLibrary loads an R-package on all nodes, including master. Use this function if slaves need this library, too. Parameters are identically to the R-build in funtion library. If a relative path is given in lib.loc, it is converted to an absolute path.\ As default sfLibrary stops on any error, but this can be prevented by setting stopOnError=FALSE, the function is returning FALSE then. On success TRUE is returned.

sfSource loads a sourcefile on all nodes, including master. Use this function if the slaves need the code as well. Make sure the file is accessible on all nodes under the same path. The loading is done on slaves using source with fixes parameters: local=FALSE, chdir=FALSE, echo=FALSE, so the files is loaded global without changing of directory.\ As default sfSource stops on any error, but this can be prevented by setting stopOnError=FALSE, the function is returning FALSE then. On success TRUE is returned.

sfExport exports variables from the master to all slaves. Use this function if slaves need acccess to these variables as well. sfExport features two execution modes: local and global. If using local mode (default), variables for export are searched backwards from current environment to globalenv(). Use this mode if you want to export local variables from functions or other scopes to the slaves. In global mode only global variables from master are exported.\ Note: all exported variables are global on the slaves!\ If you have many identical named variables in different scopes, use argument debug=TRUE to view the context the exported variable is coming from.\ Variables are given as their names or as a character vector with their names using argument list.

sfExportAll exports all global variables from the master to all slaves with exception of the given list. Use this functions if you want to export mostly all variables to all slaves.\Argument list is a character vector with names of the variables not to export.

sfRemove removes a list of global (previous exported or generated) variables from slaves and (optional) master. Use this function if there are large further unused variables left on slave. Basically this is only interesting if you have more than one explicit parallel task in your program - where the danger is slaves memory usage exceed.\ If argument master is given, the variables are removed from master as well (default is FALSE).\ Give names of variables as arguments, or use argument list as a character vector with the names. For deep cleaning of slave memory use sfRemoveAll.

sfRemoveAll removes all global variables from the slaves. Use this functions if you want to remove mostly all variables on the slaves. Argument list is a character vector with names of the variables not to remove.

sfCat is a debugging function printing a message on all slaves (which appear in the logfiles).

sfClusterSplit splits a vector into one consecutive piece for each cluster and returns as a list with length equal to the number of cluster nodes. Wrapper for snow function clusterSplit.

sfClusterCall calls a function on each node and returns list of results. Wrapper for snow function clusterCall.

sfClusterEvalQ evaluates a literal expression on all nodes. Wrapper for snow function clusterEvalQ.

sfTest is a simple unit-test for most of the build in functions. It runs tests and compares the results for the correct behavior. Note there are some warnings if using, this is intended (as behavior for some errors is tested, too). use this if you are not sure all nodes are running your R-code correctly (but mainly it is implemented for development).

See Also

See snow documentation for details on wrapper-commands: snow-parallel


## Not run: 
    sfInit( parallel=FALSE )

    ## Now works both in parallel as in sequential mode without
    ## explicit cluster handler.
    sfClusterEval( cat( "yummie\n" ) );

    ## Load a library on all slaves. Stop if fails.
    sfLibrary( tools )
    sfLibrary( "tools", character.only=TRUE )  ## Alternative.

    ## Execute in cluster or sequential.
    sfLapply( 1:10, exp )

    ## Export global Var
    gVar <- 99
    sfExport( "gVar" )

    ## If there are local variables with same name which shall not
    ## be exported.
    sfExport( "gVar", local=FALSE )

    ## Export local variables
    var1 <- 1    ## Define global
    var2 <- "a"

    f1 <- function() {
      var1 <- 2
      var3 <- "x"

      f2 <- function() {
        var1 <- 3

        sfExport( "var1", "var2", "var3", local=TRUE )
        sfClusterCall( var1 )    ## 3
        sfClusterCall( var2 )    ## "a"
        sfClusterCall( var3 )    ## "x"



    ## Init random number streams (snows functions, build upon
    ## packages rlecuyer/rsprng).
    sfClusterCall( runif, 4 )

    sfClusterSetupRNG()         ## L'Ecuyer is default.
    sfClusterCall( runif, 4 )

    sfClusterSetupRNG( type="SPRNG", seed = 9876)
    sfClusterCall( runif, 4 )

    ## Run unit-test on main functions.

## End(Not run)

snowfall documentation built on Nov. 26, 2023, 5:07 p.m.