tracemem() Function in R (2 Examples) | Trace Copying of Data Objects
In this article, I’ll demonstrate how to apply the tracemem function in the R programming language.
The tutorial will contain the following content:
Let’s just jump right in:
Creation of Example Data
Before all else, we need to create some example data:
x <- 1:5 # Create vector object x # Print vector object #  1 2 3 4 5
Have a look at the previous output of the RStudio console. It shows that our exemplifying data is a vector object containing a numeric range from the values 1 to 5.
Example 1: Create Copy of Vector with Same Memory Address
This example demonstrates how to construct a copy of our vector object that has the same memory address.
We can accomplish this by using the assignment operator a shown below:
x_copy1 <- x # Create copy of vector x_copy1 # Print copy of vector #  1 2 3 4 5
Now, we can apply the tracemem function to test if both vector objects share the same memory address:
tracemem(x) == tracemem(x_copy1) # Check if memory addresses are the same #  TRUE
The RStudio console returns the logical indicator TRUE, i.e. both data objects have the same memory address.
Example 2: Create Copy of Vector with Different Memory Address
The following R syntax illustrates how to duplicate a data object, but use a different memory address.
For this task, we can wrap the c function around our vector object as shown in the following R code:
x_copy2 <- c(x) # Create copy of vector x_copy2 # Print copy of vector #  1 2 3 4 5
Let’s apply the tracemem function once again:
tracemem(x) == tracemem(x_copy2) # Check if memory addresses are the same #  FALSE
This time, our comparison has revealed the logical indicator FALSE, i.e. the two vector objects do not share the same memory address.
Video & Further Resources
Would you like to learn more about the application of the tracemem function? Then you might want to watch the following video on my YouTube channel. I show the examples of this tutorial in the video:
The YouTube video will be added soon.
In addition to the video, you might want to read the related R articles on this website. You can find some tutorials below.
In summary: In this article you have learned how to use the tracemem function in the R programming language. In case you have additional questions, tell me about it in the comments. Besides that, please subscribe to my email newsletter for regular updates on new tutorials.
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