Re: Optimizing reference count garbage collection (Eliot Miranda;W211)
Mon, 6 Jul 1992 18:25:35 GMT

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Newsgroups: comp.compilers
From: (Eliot Miranda;W211)
Organization: Computer Science Dept, QMW, University of London
Date: Mon, 6 Jul 1992 18:25:35 GMT
References: 92-07-011
Keywords: storage, performance, bibliography writes:
>[How do I reduce the overhead of a reference counting storage manager?]

Deferred Reference Counting, invented by Peter Deutsch & Danny Bobrow.
The idea is not to reference count the stack, which accounts for the vast
majority of references. I use it in my Smalltalk interpreter & get good
performance, good enough to have no incentive to move to generational
garbage collection.

Deutsch, L.P., Bobrow, D.G. 1976, An efficient, incremental, automatic
garbage collector, Comm. ACM, 19(9) pp522-526

Baden SB 1983, Low-overhead storage reclamation in the Smalltalk-80 virtual
machine, in Smalltalk-80: Bits of History, Words of Advice, Addison-Wesley,
pp 331-342

Miranda, E.E. 1987 BrouHaHa - a portable Smalltalk interpreter, OOPSLA '87,
SIGPLAN Notices 22(12), ACM, pp 354-365

P.S. The last paper also describes Peter Deutsch's add/subtract two reference
counting hack that has to be one of the all-time greats.
Eliot Miranda email:
Department of Computer Science ARPA:
Queen Mary Westfield College UUCP: eliot@qmw-dcs.uucp
Mile End Road, LONDON E1 4NS Tel: 071 975 5229 (+44 71 975 5229)
Fax: 081 980 6533 (+44 81 980 6533)

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