Programming with Big Data -- Base Wrappers for Distributed Matrices

An interface to and extensions for the 'PBLAS' and 'ScaLAPACK' numerical libraries. This enables R to utilize distributed linear algebra for codes written in the 'SPMD' fashion. This interface is deliberately low-level and mimics the style of the native libraries it wraps. For a much higher level way of managing distributed matrices, see the 'pbdDMAT' package.

  • Version: 0.4-2
  • License: License
  • Author: See section below.

pbdBASE is a set of bindings to and extensions for the distributed linear algebra libraries BLACS, PBLAS, and ScaLAPACK. The package is very low-level, and unless you are very familiar with these libraries (or even if you are...), you are instead recommended to see the pbdDMAT and pbdDEMO packages.


pbdBASE requires

  • A system installation of MPI
  • R version 2.14.0 or higher
  • The pbdSLAP and pbdMPI packages, as well as their dependencies.

The package can be installed from the CRAN via the usual install.packages("pbdBASE"), or via the devtools package:


See the vignette for installation troubleshooting.


pbdBASE is authored and maintained by the pbdR core team:

  • Drew Schmidt
  • Wei-Chen Chen
  • George Ostrouchov
  • Pragneshkumar Patel

With additional contributions from:

  • Ewan Higgs


Reference manual

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0.5-3 by Wei-Chen Chen, 2 years ago

Report a bug at

Browse source code at

Authors: Drew Schmidt [aut] , Wei-Chen Chen [aut, cre] , Sebastien Lamy de la Chapelle [aut] , George Ostrouchov [aut] , Pragneshkumar Patel [aut] , Ewan Higgs [ctb]

Documentation:   PDF Manual  

Task views: High-Performance and Parallel Computing with R

Mozilla Public License 2.0 license

Imports utils, pbdMPI, pbdSLAP

Depends on methods

System requirements: OpenMPI (>= 1.5.4) on Solaris, Linux, Mac, and FreeBSD. MS-MPI (Microsoft HPC Pack 2012) or MPICH2 (>= 1.4.1p1) on Windows.

See at CRAN