Improving the performance of R

R has a reputation for being slow and memory-inefficient, a reputation that is at least somewhat earned. These faults are largely unnoticed on a modern PC for datasets of many thousands of records, but datasets with a million records or more can exceed the limits of what is currently possible with consumer-grade hardware. The problem worsens if the dataset contains many features or if complex learning algorithms are being used.


CRAN has a high-performance computing task view that lists packages pushing the boundaries of what is possible in R. It can be viewed at

Packages that extend R past the capabilities of the base software are being developed ...

Get Machine Learning with R - Second Edition now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.