Re: [Rd] Manipulating single-precision (float) arrays in .Call functions

From: Alireza Mahani <alireza.s.mahani_at_gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 18 Jul 2011 21:07:04 -0700 (PDT)

Simon,

Thank you for elaborating on the limitations of R in handling float types. I think I'm pretty much there with you.

As for the insufficiency of single-precision math (and hence limitations of GPU), my personal take so far has been that double-precision becomes crucial when some sort of error accumulation occurs. For example, in differential equations where boundary values are integrated to arrive at interior values, etc. On the other hand, in my personal line of work (Hierarchical Bayesian models for quantitative marketing), we have so much inherent uncertainty and noise at so many levels in the problem (and no significant error accumulation sources) that single vs double precision issue is often inconsequential for us. So I think it really depends on the field as well as the nature of the problem.

Regards,
Alireza

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