mlr supports different methods to activate parallel computing capabilities through the integration of the parallelMap::parallelMap package, which supports all major parallelization backends for R. You can start parallelization with parallelStart*, where * should be replaced with the chosen backend. parallelMap::parallelStop is used to stop all parallelization backends.

Parallelization is divided into different levels and will automatically be carried out for the first level that occurs, e.g. if you call resample() after parallelMap::parallelStart, each resampling iteration is a parallel job and possible underlying calls like parameter tuning won't be parallelized further.

The supported levels of parallelization are:

"mlr.resample"

Each resampling iteration (a train/test step) is a parallel job.

"mlr.benchmark"

Each experiment "run this learner on this data set" is a parallel job.

"mlr.tuneParams"

Each evaluation in hyperparameter space "resample with these parameter settings" is a parallel job. How many of these can be run independently in parallel depends on the tuning algorithm. For grid search or random search there is no limit, but for other tuners it depends on how many points to evaluate are produced in each iteration of the optimization. If a tuner works in a purely sequential fashion, we cannot work magic and the hyperparameter evaluation will also run sequentially. But note that you can still parallelize the underlying resampling.

"mlr.selectFeatures"

Each evaluation in feature space "resample with this feature subset" is a parallel job. The same comments as for "mlr.tuneParams" apply here.

"mlr.ensemble"

For all ensemble methods, the training and prediction of each individual learner is a parallel job. Supported ensemble methods are the makeBaggingWrapper, makeCostSensRegrWrapper, makeMulticlassWrapper, makeMultilabelBinaryRelevanceWrapper and the makeOverBaggingWrapper.