Research
Computing Applications

A time- and space-efficient garbage compaction algorithm

Posted

Given an area of storage containing scattered, marked nodes of differing sizes, one may wish to rearrange them into a compact mass at one end of the area while revising all pointers to marked nodes to show their new locations. An algorithm is described here which accomplishes this task in linear time relative to the size of the storage area, and in a space of the order of one bit for each pointer. The algorithm operates by reversibly encoding the situation (that a collection of locations point to a single location) by a linear list, emanating from the pointed-to location, passing through the pointing locations, and terminating with the pointed-to location's transplanted contents.

View this article in the ACM Digital Library.

Join the Discussion (0)

Become a Member or Sign In to Post a Comment

The Latest from CACM

Shape the Future of Computing

ACM encourages its members to take a direct hand in shaping the future of the association. There are more ways than ever to get involved.

Get Involved

Communications of the ACM (CACM) is now a fully Open Access publication.

By opening CACM to the world, we hope to increase engagement among the broader computer science community and encourage non-members to discover the rich resources ACM has to offer.

Learn More