[gclist] Question from a newbie

Ravi Jonnalagedda RaviJ@crisnet.com
Tue, 6 May 2003 16:15:03 -0600


I have a question, a very basic one though. I am trying to do a research
report for my school on the garbage collection algorithms, with the
intent to classify/categorize the GC algorithms as comprehensive/non
comprehensive, and I have some questions.

I have read through a bunch of journals and books and have found that
the reference counting technique is not a comprehensive one as it
excludes cyclic data structures, or cycles in general. I do believe that
generational collector is also not necessarily comprehensive as there is
repeated collection  of only one are in the heap.

That led me to believe that mark-sweep and mark-compact/copying tend to
be comprehensive (provided the mutator does not change the heap
structure when the collector is working). But have not found any
literature which comprehensively states that.

Am I missing something here? Is it even correct to categorize the
algorithms like this? Or is there a better way to classify the

Any help is appreciated. I am working on this as a research proposal for
my report, and any information on this would be greatly helpful to me.

Thank you,