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HomeUncategorizedThe Garbage Collection Handbook, 2nd Edition

The Garbage Collection Handbook, 2nd Edition

ISBN 9781032218038

610 Pages
1 Color & 77 B/W Illustrations

June 22, 2023
Chapman & Hall

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Published in 1996, Richard Jones’s Garbage Collection was a milestone book in the area of automatic memory management. Its widely acclaimed successor, The Garbage Collection Handbook: The Art of Automatic Memory Management, captured the state of the field in 2012 but this has once again grown considerably, sparking a need for an updated look at the latest state-of-the-art developments. This second edition updates the handbook, bringing together a wealth of knowledge gathered by automatic memory management researchers and developers over the past sixty years. The authors compare the most important approaches and state-of-the-art techniques in a single, accessible framework.

The book addresses new challenges to garbage collection made by recent advances in hardware and software. It explores the consequences of these changes for designers and implementers of high performance garbage collectors. Along with simple and traditional algorithms, the book covers state-of-the-art parallel, incremental, concurrent and real-time garbage collection. Algorithms and concepts are often described with pseudocode and illustrations.


Mark-Sweep Garbage Collection

Mark-Compact Garbage Collection

Copying Garbage Collection

Reference Counting

Comparing Garbage Collectors


Partitioning the Heap

Generational Garbage Collection

Other Partitioned Schemes

Run-Time Interface

Language-Specific Concerns

Concurrency Preliminaries

Parallel Garbage Collection

Concurrent Garbage Collection

Concurrent Market Sweep

Concurrent Copying & Compaction

Concurrent Reference Counting

Real-Time Garbage Collection

Energy-Aware Garbage Collection

Persistence and Garbage Collection





Richard Jones is a professor of computer systems in the School of Computing at the University of Kent, Canterbury. He earned a B.A. in mathematics from Oxford University and an M.Sc. in computer science from the University of Kent. He spent a few years teaching at school and college before returning to higher education at the University of Kent.

Antony Hosking is an associate professor in the Department of Computer Science at Purdue University. He earned a B.Sc. in mathematical sciences from the University of Adelaide, Australia, an M.Sc. in computer science from the University of Waikato, New Zealand, and a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Massachusetts. His work is in the area of programming language design and implementation, with specific interests in database and persistent programming languages, object-oriented database systems, dynamic memory management, compiler optimizations, and architectural support for programming languages and applications.

Eliot Moss is a professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He earned a B.S.E.E., an M.S.E.E., and a Ph.D. in computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After four years of military service, Dr. Moss joined the faculty at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He works in the area of programming languages and their implementation and has built garbage collectors since 1978. In addition to his research on automatic memory management, he is known for his work on persistent programming languages, virtual machine implementation, and transactional memory. He worked with IBM researchers to license the Jikes RVM Java virtual machine for academic research, which eventually led to its release as an open source project.

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