[Rd] Very Long Expressions

From: McGehee, Robert <Robert.McGehee_at_geodecapital.com>
Date: Mon 24 Jan 2005 - 06:04:01 EST

I'm having some difficulties with evaluating very long expressions (Windows/Linux 2.0.1), as seen below, and would greatly appreciate any help, thoughts or work arounds. Let's say that I wanted to see what I would get if I added 1 to itself 498 times. One way of doing this would be to evaluate the expression 1+1+1+...

> eval(parse(text = paste(rep(1, 498), collapse = "+")))
[1] 498

However, if we try this with 499+ items we get no answer:
> a <- eval(parse(text = paste(rep(1, 499), collapse = "+")))
> a

Error: Object "a" not found

And if this eval is passed to any other function, that function exits without error and without returning and object.

So it seems that we've reached some upper limit of evaluation terms. While the parser is able to correctly create the long expression, eval does not successfully evaluate it.

My problem is that since the evaluator does not return an object, error, or warning, I'm not able to easily code around this problem. Also, I've thought of no easy way to "count" the terms in the expression to see whether we've breached the upper limit or not.

If I were able to see if the eval would work on a particular expression, one thing I had considered was to make an eval.long wrapper that peels terms off the right hand side of an overly-long expression until every sub-expression is legal.

Thus, to count to 600 I could just add the first 497 terms with the next 103 terms.
>eval(parse(text = paste(rep(1, 497), collapse = "+"))) +
 eval(parse(text = paste(rep(1, 103), collapse = "+"))) [1] 600

But without an error or way of figuring out if the expression would even be evaluated, I'm not sure how to know when to start or stop the peeling process. It also may become more complicated when parentheses are introduced.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.


platform i386-pc-mingw32

arch     i386           
os       mingw32        
system   i386, mingw32  
major    2              
minor    0.1            
year     2004           
month    11             
day      15             
language R              

Robert McGehee
Geode Capital Management, LLC
53 State Street, 5th Floor | Boston, MA | 02109 Tel: 617/392-8396 Fax:617/476-6389

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https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-devel Received on Mon Jan 24 20:15:32 2005

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