The economics of garbage collection

Singer, J. , Jones, R., Brown, G. and Lujan, M. (2010) The economics of garbage collection. In: International Symposium on Memory Management, Toronto, ON, June 2010, pp. 103-112. (doi: 10.1145/1806651.1806669)

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This paper argues that economic theory can improve our understanding of memory management. We introduce the allocation curve, as an analogue of the demand curve from microeconomics. An allocation curve for a program characterises how the amount of garbage collection activity required during its execution varies in relation to the heap size associated with that program. The standard treatment of microeconomic demand curves (shifts and elasticity) can be applied directly and intuitively to our new allocation curves. As an application of this new theory, we show how allocation elasticity can be used to control the heap growth rate for variable sized heaps in Jikes RVM.

Item Type:Conference Proceedings
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Singer, Dr Jeremy
Authors: Singer, J., Jones, R., Brown, G., and Lujan, M.
Subjects:Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Computing Science
Copyright Holders:ACM
First Published:First published in Proceedings of the 2010 International Symposium on Memory Management
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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