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Vectorized Garbage Collection

Report ID:
June 1988
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Garbage collection can be done in vector mode on supercomputers like the Cray-2 and the Cyber 205. Both copying collection and mark-and-sweep can be expressed as breadth-rst searches in which the "queue" can be processed in parallel. We have designed a copying garbage collector whose inner loop works entirely in vector mode. The only significant limitation of the algorithm is that if the size of the records is not constant, the implementation becomes much more complicated. We give performance measurements of the algorithm as implemented for Lisp CONS cells on the Cyber 205. Vector-mode garbage collection performs up to 9 times faster than scalar-mode collection - a worthwhile improvement.

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