Comparing Mostly-copying and Mark-sweep Conservative Collection

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Comparing Mostly-copying and Mark-sweep Conservative Collection

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Title: Comparing Mostly-copying and Mark-sweep Conservative Collection
Author: Smith, Frederick; Morrisett, John Gregory

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Citation: Smith, Frederick and Greg Morrisett. 1998. Comparing mostly-copying and mark-sweep conservative collection. In ISMM 98: Proceedings of the 1st International Symposium on Memory Management, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, October 17-19, 1998, ed. ISMM 98, 68-78. New York, N.Y.: ACM Press.
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Abstract: Many high-level language compilers generate C code and then invoke a C compiler for code generation. To date, most, of these compilers link the resulting code against a conservative mark-sweep garbage collector in order to reclaim unused memory. We introduce a new collector, MCC, based on an extension of mostly-copying collection.We analyze the various design decisions made in MCC and provide a performance comparison to the most widely used conservative mark-sweep collector (the Boehm-Demers-Weiser collector). Our results show that a good mostly-copying collector can outperform a mature highly-optimized mark-sweep collector when physical memory is large relative to the live data. A surprising result of our analysis is that cache behavior can have a greater impact on overall performance than either collector time or allocation time.
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