Tuesday, Afternoon
Introduction to Memory Management and Garbage Collection (or, How to Live with Memory Allocation Problems)
Convention Ctr – 205C
Jones Richard, University of Kent at Canterbury
Eric Jul, DIKU, University of Copenhagen

Memory management can be complex and hard to manage correctly – errors often occur. This tutorial introduces the basic paradigms and techniques of memory management and garbage collection in the context of OO. It aims to help programmers improve their techniques by showing how errors can be avoided; it probes the limits of manual allocation strategies and examines the benefits offered by GC. Examples and hints on how to avoid pitfalls in languages such as C++ are given.

C++ programmers experiencing memory management problems will learn what support GC can offer; OO programmers already using GC will obtain a deeper insight into the operation of basic collectors. The tutorial will enable participants to evaluate the benefits and costs of common algorithms, to understand the implications for their code and to make informed choices between collectors – and whether or not to use GC at all.

Presentation Format: Presentation based.

Attendee Background: The tutorial assumes basic knowledge of object-oriented concepts. Some programming experience with at least one object-oriented programming language or more extensive programming experience with non-object-oriented languages is desirable. However no previous knowledge of garbage collection is required.

Richard Jones is a Senior Lecturer and Deputy Director of the Computing Laboratory at the University of Kent. He is the prime author of the only book on this subject: “Garbage Collection: Algorithms for Automatic Dynamic Memory Management” (Wiley 1996). His interests include programming languages and their implementation, storage management, and distributed systems. He is a member of the Steering Committee of the International Symposium on Memory Management and was Programme Chair for ISMM‘98.

Eric Jul is an Associate Professor and Head of the distributed systems group at DIKU, the Dept. of Computer Science, University of Copenhagen. He is co-designer and principal implementor of the Emerald distributed object-oriented programming language. His interests include distributed, OO languages, operating systems support including distributed storage management and object-oriented design and analysis. He was Programme Chair for ECOOP‘98.

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