Re: [R] Suitability of R for Algorithm simulations

From: François Pinard <>
Date: Thu 05 Oct 2006 - 00:43:36 GMT

[Ethan B. Fini]

> I would like to be able to instantiate an object for each node in my
> simulated (stand alone, one computer) "distributed" environment and
> then proceed by (a) adding message exchange functionality and (b)
> algorithm behavior to each node.

Not so long ago, I quickly glanced at Eiffel after an enthusiastic friend told me about it, and while I do not think I will soon use it for myself, Eiffel might be the right choice for you, being strong on light-weight processes and message passing, from what I've read...

If I had a simulation problem to tackle nowadays, I'd likely consider Python supplemented with greelets from the pylib library, mainly because I'm fond on Python legibility, and have a reasonably good confidence in people having implemented greenlets.

> The simulation results are represented on a GUI [...]

The GUI aspects of Eiffel are unknown to me, I did not dive deep enough to touch them. For Python, I'd use pygtk, but there are many toolkits to choose from.

> Is R suitable for what I am trying to do? I looked around but have not
> been able to determine if R is the appropriate platform.

R libraries are especially good at statistics and graphics. The language in itself is much oriented towards vectorisation, among other things, and this might be convenient for a speedy implementation of some simulation problems. If vectorisation could not be turned into an advantage for you with R, it is likely that R might be slow for such problems, and also not so well adapted to quasi-parallelism between interacting processes having each their own behaviour.

Of course, seasoned R users might have much more sound opinions than mine on this topic! :-)

François Pinard

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Received on Thu Oct 05 10:45:52 2006

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