Date: 02 Jun 2005

A cyclic distributed garbage collector for network objects

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This paper presents an algorithm for distributed garbage collection and outlines its implementation within the Network Objects system. The algorithm is based on a reference listing scheme, which is augmented by partial tracing in order to collect distributed garbage cycles. Processes may be dynamically organised into groups, according to appropriate heuristics, to reclaim distributed garbage cycles. The algorithm places no overhead on local collectors and suspends local mutators only briefly. Partial tracing of the distributed graph involves only objects thought to be part of a garbage cycle: no collaboration with other processes is required. The algorithm offers considerable flexibility, allowing expediency and fault-tolerance to be traded against completeness.
Work supported by JNICT grant (CIENCIA/BD/2773/93-IA) through the PRAXIS XXI Program (Portugal).