[gclist] ref-counting performance cost

Manoj Plakal plakal@cs.wisc.edu
Tue, 10 Oct 2000 23:14:02 -0500

Well you could certainly test the waters by submitting the idea
to a workshop. Some conferences may accept short papers with
ideas and some preliminary estimates without a full implementation.

RC is nice because of its inherent incremental nature and potential
for good locality, and anything to make this kind of a non-intrusive 
algorithm work better would make a competitive memory manager, IMHO.

As opposed to taking an inherently "intrusive" algorithm that requires 
a global reachability analysis as used in tracing collectors and then 
breaking your back trying to make that perform well by making it
generational or concurrent or parallel or incremental. Not that 
there's anything wrong with making tracing collectors work well.
It's just that people seem to have given up on RC pretty quickly.


Andrew Shi-hwa Chen wrote (Tue, Oct 10, 2000 at 08:28:42PM -0400) :
> Are they on the right track? I know that many of you on this list are
> the exact same people that would be the ones deciding what would be
> published - would a new algorithm with no implementation have a
> chance at getting published in one of the major venues for papers on
> garbage collection? What about an implementation that was poor - where
> both this new idea and simple "classic" algorithms were implemented
> (mark/sweep and/or RC) and this idea performed well only because
> various optimizations were not done on the mark/sweep and/or RC?
> What about an algorithm that was implemented in very small/simple/old
> language (like a subset of LISP) or a language designed specifically
> to illustrate the features of this garbage collection (say, where the
> mutator would have a guarrantee from the collector that finalization
> methods would be executed immediately, even for cyclic scenarios)?
> I'm trying to get a grip on whether or not my idea
> is one worth pursuing some more or giving up on.
> Is the spice of work-arounds for the cyclic problem a fertile research
> area? I am not aware of much recent work on this.