Accession Number : ADA290099

Title :   Garbage Collection is Fast, but a Stack is Faster,

Corporate Author : MASSACHUSETTS INST OF TECH CAMBRIDGE ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE LAB

Personal Author(s) : Miller, James S. ; Rozas, Guillermo J.

PDF Url : ADA290099

Report Date : MAR 1994

Pagination or Media Count : 38

Abstract : Prompted by claims that garbage collection can outperform stack allocation when sufficient physical memory is available, we present a careful analysis and set of cross-architecture measurements comparing these two approaches for the implementation of continuation (procedure call) frames. When the frames are allocated on a heap they require additional space, increase the amount of data transferred between memory and registers, and, on current architectures, require more instructions. We find that stack allocation of continuation frames outperforms heap allocation in some cases by almost a factor of three. Thus, stacks remain an important implementation technique for procedure calls, even in the presence of an efficient, compacting garbage collector and large amounts of memory. (AN)

Descriptors :   *DISTRIBUTED DATA PROCESSING, *COMPILERS, COMPUTER PROGRAM DOCUMENTATION, ALGORITHMS, OPTIMIZATION, DATA MANAGEMENT, COMPUTER COMMUNICATIONS, PROGRAMMING LANGUAGES, COMPUTER ARCHITECTURE, ALLOCATIONS, FRAMES, COLLECTION, BUFFER STORAGE, STACKING, CONTROL SEQUENCES, BUBBLE MEMORIES, STRUCTURED PROGRAMMING.

Subject Categories : Computer Programming and Software

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE