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(Chapter 5) Deleting Objects

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1 (Chapter 5) Deleting Objects
DC3: More on Naming (Chapter 5) Deleting Objects

2 Topics Distributed garbage collection Centralized Solutions
Skeletons and Proxies Unreferenced and Unreachable Centralized Solutions Mark and Sweep Reference Counting Distributed GC Distributed reference counting Advanced reference counting Generation reference counting

3 Removing Objects no Longer Needed
Called Distributed Garbage Collection Many languages (Java) and distributed middleware systems provide for the recycling of memory objects that are no longer referenced. Use terminology of Java RMI with skeletons and proxies.

4 The Problem of Unreferenced Objects
An example of a graph representing objects containing references to each other.

5 Garbage – Unreferenced Memory
int * p1; int * p2; p1 = new int; p1 p1

6 Garbage – Unreachable Objects
Unneeded memory not referenced by objects currently active in the program p2 p1 p3

7 Garbage Collection in a Centralized System – Mark and Sweep
Simple solution: stop allocation of new objects and deallocation. Mark all objects as unreferenced Go through all pointers and mark referenced objects as referenced. Delete unreferenced objects and resume processing. Works if all objects and references are on the same machine, but time consuming.

8 Mark all objects as unreferenced
Mark and Sweep - 1 Mark all objects as unreferenced p2 p4 p5 p1 p3

9 Go through program and unmark referenced objects
Mark and Sweep - 2 Go through program and unmark referenced objects p2 p4 p5 p1 p3

10 Delete unreferenced objects
Mark and Sweep - 3 Delete unreferenced objects p4 p5 p1

11 A Little More Efficient
Reference Counting (not distributed) The object maintains a reference counter. When an object is created with a reference pointer, its reference counter is set to one. Reference counter is increased or decreased as additional pointers are created or removed. If the reference counter (RC) goes to zero, the object is GC’ed. Problem with scheme: unreachable objects referencing each other.

12 Distributed Garbage Collection
In DS the objects and pointers may be on different machines. Difficult to stop processing on one machine, let alone a DS. Proxies and skeletons: When a distributed object is created, a skeleton is created for it. When it is referenced, a proxy is created at the client machine (referencer) to talk to the skeleton at the object site.

13 Proxies and Skeletons skeleton proxy object process

14 Distributed Reference Counting(1)
Where are the reference counters maintained? How to increase and decrease RC from a remote proxy? Solution: The object skeleton will maintain the RC. Messages to the RC must be protected against duplication or loss.

15 Distributed Reference Counting (2)
The problem of maintaining a proper reference count in the presence of unreliable communication.

16 Reference Counting (3) +1 (a) Copying a reference to another process and incrementing the counter too late. (b) A solution, but increased message traffic.

17 Advanced Reference Counting (1)
Idea: Eliminate race between increase and decrease messages by having only messages which decrease the count. Also, make it possible to copy references without communicating with object. This has advantages and disadvantages.

18 Advanced Reference Counting (2)
1. When object O is created, it has a TOTAL WEIGHT, TW and PARTIAL WEIGHT, PW. Initially TW = PW = 2^N = 2N. 2. When a reference is created half the PW of the object (TW and PW are stored at the skeleton) is assigned to the proxy at process P1. 3. If a remote reference is duplicated, half the PW at P1 is passed to P2. (skeleton is not aware of this). 4. If remote reference is passed to P2, P2 gets all of the PW. Again, object O doesn’t need to know. 5. When reference is destroyed, message is sent to object’s skeleton to decrement TW by process’s PW. 6. When O’s TW equals its PW, object can be GC’ed.

19 Advanced Referencing Counting (3)
(a) The initial assignment of weights in weighted reference counting (b) Weight assignment when creating a new reference.

20 Advanced Referencing Counting (4)
Weight assignment when copying a reference from P1 for P2.

21 Advanced Reference Counting (5)
Problem: only a limited number of references (2N-1) can be copied in this way without resorting to an additional scheme. Additional schemes: Existing reference P1 can create its own skeleton so that it can duplicate more references on its own. However, this gives rise to extra indirections which degrade performance.

22 Advanced Referencing Counting (6)
Creating an indirection when the partial weight of a reference has reached 1.

23 Generation Reference Counting (1)
This scheme solves problem by allowing a process to create an endless number of copies of references. Advantages: copies can create copies forever without communicating with the object. Reference creating and destruction requires comm with object or creator but not both. Disadvantage: still requires reliable comm.

24 Generation Reference Counting (2)
Object skeleton keeps a table G where G[ i.] is the number of outstanding references for generation i. When an object is created with a reference, that reference is considered generation 1. Any reference created by the object is generation 1. When a new reference is created, its copy counter is zero and it is told its generation #. If it copies the reference for P2, it increments its copy counter and gives P2 an incremented generation count. When a remote reference is deleted, with copy=X, generation=Y, a message is sent to the object skeleton with X and Y. G[Y] is decremented by one for the removed reference. G[Y+1] is increased by X for the X copies made by the process at generation Y. Note: at any given time, G probably will not accurately reflect reality. Also, the counts may be negative. When all entries G[ i.] are zero, the object can be GC’ed.

25 Generation Referencing Counting (3)
Creating and copying a remote reference in generation reference counting.

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