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R workshop tutorial

Preparation

  1. Basic knowledge of R language, Linux, and the HPCC environment.
  2. Login
    1. ssh -XY YourAccount@hpcc.msu.edu
    2. ssh dev-amd20
  3. We will be using R 4.0.2. To load it: module purge; module load GCC/8.3.0 OpenMPI/3.1.4 R/4.0.2
  4. Copy files that we are using in this workshop to your home directory: cp -r /mnt/research/common-data/workshops/R-workshop .

R startup

When an R session starts, it looks for and loads two hidden configuration files, .Renviron and .Rprofile.

  • .Renviron: contains environment variables to be set in R sessions
  • .Rprofile: contains R commands to be run in R sessions

The following search order is applied: your current working directory, your home directory, and the system-wide R_HOME/etc/ (you can use R command R.home() to check path of R_HOME). Below are examples of the two files which have been placed in our R workshop directory. You need to use ls -a to list them since they are "hidden" files.

.Rprofile (an example)

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cat("Sourcing .Rprofile from the R-workshop directory.\n")

# To avoid setting the CRAN mirror each time you run install.packages
local({
  options(repos = "https://repo.miserver.it.umich.edu/cran/")
})

options(width=100) # max number of columns when printing vectors/matrices/arrays

.First <- function() cat("##### R session begins for", paste(Sys.getenv("USER"),".", sep=""), "You are currently in", getwd(), "#####\n\n")
.Last <- function()  cat("\n##### R session ends for", paste(Sys.getenv("USER"),".", sep=""),  "You are currently in", getwd(), "#####\n\n")

.Renviron (an example)

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R_DEFAULT_PACKAGES="datasets,utils,grDevices,graphics,stats,methods"
R_LIBS_USER=/mnt/home/longnany/Rlibs

Let's run a short Rscript command to see what we get:

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$ Rscript -e 'date()'

Notes:

  • Personalizing these two files can reduce code portability.

  • Rscript by default doesn't load package {methods} in order to speed up initialization. To customize your own loading packages, add them in .Renviron (see above).

  • If you don't want R or Rscript to read any Renviron or Rprofile files when starting an R session, use option --vanilla.
    A caveat: if you explicitly export an R environment variable, such as  export R_LIBS_USER=~/Rlibs, then adding --vanilla will not ignore its value. See below the result.

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$ Rscript --vanilla -e '.libPaths()' # .libPaths() is used to see the directories where R searches for libraries
[1] "/opt/software/R/4.0.2-foss-2019b/lib64/R/library"
$ export R_LIBS_USER=~/Rlibs
$ Rscript --vanilla -e '.libPaths()'
[1] "/mnt/home/longnany/Rlibs"
[2] "/opt/software/R/4.0.2-foss-2019b/lib64/R/library"

Rscript one-liner

The general format of Rscript:

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Rscript [options] [-e expression1 -e expression2 ... | source file] [args]
  • options: can be multiple; all beginning with -- (e.g., --vanilla as mentioned above). To learn about all the options, run Rscript --help on the command line.

  • expression1, expression2 ...: can be one or multiple. They are R commands.

  • source file: R source code.

  • args: arguments to be passed.

You may have both expressions and source file present in your Rscript line. Here are a few one-liner examples:

Rscript one-liner examples

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# Ex1: simple loop
$ Rscript -e 'for (i in 1:5) print(paste("g", i))'


# Ex2: print time
$ Rscript -e 'date()'


# Ex3: quick math (calculating quotient and remainder)
$ Rscript -e '128 %/% 11' -e '128 %% 11'


# Ex4: get help for command "paste"
$ Rscript -e 'help(paste)'


# Ex5: used in conjunction with pipe. 
#   Generate three sets of random Normal variables with different means (sd all being one); means are given in file test.dat.
$ cat > test.dat # ctrl+D to go back when done typing
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$ cat test.dat | Rscript -e 'input_con  <- file("stdin"); open(input_con); while (length(oneLine <- readLines(con = input_con, n = 1, warn = FALSE)) > 0) {print(rnorm(5,mean=as.numeric(oneLine)))};close(input_con)'

Using Rscript with source code

a. simple usage:

Instead of using '-e your_commands', we now put R commands in a source file and run it with Rscript. Below is an R script file and we can run Rscript multiplots.R to get a PDF figure multiplots.pdf. To view it: evince multiplots.pdf

multiplots.R: a very simple example of making 4 plots on the same page

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pdf("multiplots.pdf")
par(mfrow=c(2,2))
for (i in 1:4) plot(1:10, 1:10, type="b", xlab=bquote(X[.(i)]), ylab=bquote(Y[.(i)]), main=bquote("Multiple plots: #" ~ .(i)))
dev.off()

b. passing command line arguments:

We can also pass arguments to our R script, as shown in the example below.

args-1.R

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args <- commandArgs(trailingOnly = TRUE)

nargs <- length(args)
for (i in 1:nargs) {
    cat("Arg", i, ":", args[i], "\n")
}


cat("Generating",as.numeric(args[nargs-1]), "normal variables with mean =", as.numeric(args[nargs]), "and sd = 1 \n")
rnorm(as.numeric(args[nargs-1]), mean=as.numeric(args[nargs]))

Running script args-1.R:

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$ Rscript args-1.R 5 3
Sourcing .Rprofile from the 11092017-R-Workshop directory.
##### R session begins for longnany. You are currently in /mnt/home/longnany/Documents/11092017-R-Workshop #####

Arg 1 : 5
Arg 2 : 3
Generating 5 normal variables with mean = 3 and sd = 1
[1] 2.707162 3.677923 3.192272 2.531973 3.699060

##### R session ends for longnany. You are currently in /mnt/home/longnany/Documents/11092017-R-Workshop #####

c. processing command line arguments with {getopt}:

args-2.R

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require("getopt", quietly=TRUE)

spec = matrix(c(
    "Number", "n", 1, "integer",
    "Mean", "m", 1, "double"
), byrow=TRUE, ncol=4) # cf. https://cran.r-project.org/web/packages/getopt/getopt.pdf

opt = getopt(spec);

if (is.null(opt$Number)) {
    n <- 5
} else {
    n <- opt$Number
}

if (is.null(opt$Mean)) {
    m <- 3
} else {
    m <- opt$Mean
} 

cat("Generating", n, "normal variables with mean =", m, "and sd = 1 \n")
rnorm(n=n, mean=m)

Running the script args-2.R:

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# Use long flag names
$ Rscript --vanilla args-2.R --Number 10 --Mean -2
Generating 10 normal variables with mean = -2 and sd = 1
 [1] -0.4776278 -1.7759145 -0.9977682 -2.6452126 -3.4050587 -2.2358362
 [7] -1.2696362 -1.6213633 -2.7013074 -1.9271954

# Use short flag names
$ Rscript --vanilla args-2.R -n 10 -m -2
Generating 10 normal variables with mean = -2 and sd = 1
 [1] -2.2241837 -1.6704711  0.1481244  0.2072124 -1.0385386 -1.5194874
 [7] -2.6744478 -2.4683039 -0.7962113 -1.1901021

# No arguments provided so defaults are used
$ Rscript --vanilla args-2.R
Generating 5 normal variables with mean = 3 and sd = 1
[1] 3.951492 4.255879 4.485044 2.727223 3.039532

Submitting parallel jobs to the cluster using {doParallel}: single node, multiple cores

To submit a single-node job, we recommend {doParallel}'s multicore functionality.

R_doParallel_singlenode.R: run 10,000 bootstrap iterations of fitting a logistic regression model

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library(doParallel)

# Request a single node (this uses the "multicore" functionality)
registerDoParallel(cores=as.numeric(Sys.getenv("SLURM_CPUS_ON_NODE")[1]))

x <- iris[which(iris[,5] != "setosa"), c(1,5)]
trials <- 10000
ptime <- system.time({
    r <- foreach(icount(trials), .combine=cbind) %dopar% {
        ind <- sample(100, 100, replace=TRUE)
        result1 <- glm(x[ind,2]~x[ind,1], family=binomial(logit))
        coefficients(result1)
    }
})[3]

cat("Time elapsed:", ptime, "\n")
cat("Currently registered backend:", getDoParName(), "\n")
cat("Number of workers used:", getDoParWorkers(), "\n")
print(str(r)) # column-binded result

Now, submit the job to the HPCC through the following SLURM script:

submit-doParallel.sbatch

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#!/bin/bash

# Job name:
#SBATCH --job-name=doParallel_test
#
# Number of nodes needed:
#SBATCH --nodes=1
#
# Tasks per node:
#SBATCH --ntasks-per-node=1
#
# Processors per task:
#SBATCH --cpus-per-task=4
#
# Memory per node:
#SBATCH --mem=500M
#
# Wall time (e.g. "minutes", "hours:minutes:seconds", "days-hours", "days-hours:minutes"):
#SBATCH --time=3:00:00
#
# Standard out and error:
#SBATCH --output=%x-%j.SLURMout

module purge
module load GCC/8.3.0 OpenMPI/3.1.4 R/4.0.2

Rscript --vanilla R_doParallel_singlenode.R > R_doParallel_singlenode.Rout

Submission command: sbatch submit-doParallel.sbatch

The output file R_doParallel_singlenode.Rout  should look like:

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Time elapsed: 8.946
Currently registered backend: doParallelMC
Number of workers used: 4
 num [1:2, 1:10000] -14.6 2.26 -11.86 1.91 -7.75 ...
 - attr(*, "dimnames")=List of 2
  ..$ : chr [1:2] "(Intercept)" "x[ind, 1]"
  ..$ : chr [1:10000] "result.1" "result.2" "result.3" "result.4" ...
NULL

Submitting parallel jobs to the cluster using Rmpi: multiple nodes

MPI stands for Message Passing Interface, and the R package Rmpi  is an implementation of it for R. Function usage in Rmpi is complicated. For ease of implementation, we recommend the use of another simplified R MPI library, pbdMPI, as described next.

Submitting parallel jobs to the cluster using pbdMPI: multiple nodes

pbdMPI is a more recent R MPI package, which simplifies MPI interaction and thus eases programming. It works in Single Program/Multiple Data (SPMD) mode. As an illustration, we consider the problem of computing the log likelihood of data following a 2-dimensional Multi-Variate Normal (MVN) distribution. The example below applies Cholesky decomposition on the 2-by-2 covariance matrix, solves a system of linear equations (this is where parallelism plays a vital role), and performs some matrix/vector operations. Here is a graphic illustration of solving a system of linear equations by part.

img!

MVN.R: MPI in SPMD mode

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# Load pbdMPI and initialize the communicator
library(pbdMPI, quiet = TRUE)
init()

# Check processes
comm.cat("All processes start...\n\n")
msg <- sprintf("I am rank %d on host %s of %d processes\n", comm.rank(), Sys.info()["nodename"], comm.size())
comm.cat(msg, all.rank=TRUE, quiet=TRUE) # quiet=T tells each rank not to "announce" itself when it's printing


set.seed(1234)
N <- 100
p <- 2
X <- matrix(rnorm(N * p), ncol = p)
mu <- c(0.1, 0.2)
Sigma <- matrix(c(0.9, 0.1, 0.1, 0.9), ncol = p)

# Load data partially by processors
id.get <- get.jid(N)
X.spmd <- matrix(X[id.get, ], ncol = p)
comm.cat("\nPrint out the matrix on each process/rank:\n\n", quiet=TRUE)
comm.print(X.spmd, all.rank=TRUE, quiet=TRUE)

# Cholesky decomposition
U <- chol(Sigma) # U'U = Sigma
logdet <- sum(log(abs(diag(U))))

# Call R's backsolve function for each chunk of the data matrix X (i.e. B.spmd)
B.spmd <- t(X.spmd) - mu
A.spmd <- backsolve(U, B.spmd, upper.tri = TRUE, transpose = TRUE) # U'A = B
distval.spmd <- colSums(A.spmd * A.spmd)

# Use sum as the reduction operation
sum.distval <- allreduce(sum(distval.spmd), op = "sum")
total.logL <- -0.5 * (N * (p * log(2 * pi) + logdet * 2) + sum.distval)

# Output
comm.cat("\nFinal log-likelihood:\n\n", quiet=TRUE)
comm.print(total.logL, quiet=TRUE)

finalize()

SLURM submission script:

submit-pbdMPI.sbatch

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#!/bin/bash

# Job name:
#SBATCH --job-name=pbdMPI_test
#
# Number of MPI tasks:
#SBATCH --ntasks=20
#
# Processors per task:
#SBATCH --cpus-per-task=1
#
# Memory:
#SBATCH --mem-per-cpu=800M
#
# Wall clock limit (e.g. "minutes", "hours:minutes:seconds", "days-hours", "days-hours:minutes"):
#SBATCH --time=30
#
# Standard out and error:
#SBATCH --output=%x-%j.SLURMout

echo "SLURM_NTASKS: $SLURM_NTASKS"

module purge
module load GCC/8.3.0 OpenMPI/3.1.4 R/4.0.2

# Suppress warnings about forks and missing CUDA libraries
export OMPI_MCA_mpi_warn_on_fork=0
export OMPI_MCA_mpi_cuda_support=0

mpirun -n $SLURM_NTASKS Rscript --vanilla MVN.R > MVN.Rout

Now, submit the job by sbatch submit-pbdMPI.sbatchWhen finished, MVN.Rout should contain the following information:

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COMM.RANK = 0
All processes start...

I am rank 0 on host lac-421 of 20 processes
I am rank 1 on host lac-421 of 20 processes
... ...
I am rank 18 on host lac-421 of 20 processes
I am rank 19 on host lac-421 of 20 processes

Print out the matrix on each process/rank:

           [,1]       [,2]
[1,] -0.1850210 -0.2771503
[2,] -0.8596753 -0.1081122
[3,] -1.0927853  0.8690750
[4,] -0.5831948  0.8032846
[5,]  1.0796870  0.2354514
            [,1]       [,2]
[1,]  0.05274001 -0.8410549
[2,] -0.92568393  0.9461704
[3,]  1.01632804  0.6875080
[4,]  0.34271061  0.4905065
[5,]  0.84192956 -1.6685933
... ...
            [,1]       [,2]
[1,] -0.55673659 -0.1229023
[2,] -0.03156318 -0.8501178
[3,] -1.28832627 -1.3115801
[4,] -0.47546826 -0.4856559
[5,]  0.81134183  0.7499220
            [,1]       [,2]
[1,] -0.95620195  0.6560605
[2,]  0.04671396  0.6093924
[3,]  0.18986742  0.2077641
[4,]  0.73281327 -1.0452661
[5,]  2.27968859  1.0611428

Final log-likelihood:

[1] -283.2159