Bevan, David I.
An efficient reference counting solution to the distributed garbage collection problem.
Parallel Computing, 9(2) 179 - 192.
A good programming language permits the programmer to concentrate on his application rather than on low-level implementation details. In particular, he does not have to concern himself with storage allocation because memory management is dealt with efficiently by the implementation of the language. To reclaim disused storage for reuse the implementation incorporates a garbage collection algorithm. When the language is implemented on a distributed multiprocessor architecture, this algorithm ideally collects garbage as soon as it is created and has minimal overheads in terms of space requirements and interprocess communications. We describe here an elegant algorithm with these properties which makes use of reference counting.
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