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Testing Geospatial R Packages on Implementations of the R Language and Platforms


This is a repository for my master thesis for the Master of Science in Geospatial Technologies.


R is a programming language for statistical computation and graphics. Besides the commonly used, GNU R, there are other alternative R implementations that claim to have advantages compared to the GNU R. Unfortunately, it is not clear how will geospatial R packages behave on these implementations since these packages often rely on system libraries which installed at the system level. System libraries also depend on the platform where the R is running. To find this information, this research aims to explore the compatibility of geospatial R packages on different R implementation and platform. This research also aims to see which R implementation and platform has the best performance.

To make the exploration easier, container technology is used to install system dependencies and R implementations. All system dependencies from sysreqsdb are installed for geospatial R packages. From this exploration, it is found that not all R implementations are compatible with geospatial packages. Problems found can be grouped into three categories: System Dependencies, Unsupported Implementation, and Running Time Error. GNU R and Microsoft R Open (MRO) are the only R implementations that compatibles with geospatial R packages.

A benchmarking R package called altRnative is created to run the benchmarking across the successful combination. The benchmark result shows that GNU R has a little bit better performance (1.2x) compared to MRO regardless of the platforms.

Reproducibility self-assessment: 3, 3, 3, 3, 3 (input data, preprocessing, methods, computational environment, results)

Technical Stuff for the Thesis Writing

This thesis is created by using with the cover and the declaration of academic integrity adapted from Luuk's Master Thesis

Related Repositories

  • dockeRs: A collection of docker image of various R implementations on various platform both vanilla and with geospatial R packages.
  • altRnative: An R package to run you R code in different R implementations and platforms on a docker container.