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Kentaro Hara

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    Cross-Component Garbage Collection
    Ulan Degenbaev
    Proceedings of the ACM on Programming Languages, vol. 2 Issue OOPSLA (2018), 151:1-151:24
    Preview abstract Embedding a modern language runtime as a component in a larger software system is popular these days. Communication between these systems often requires keeping references to each others' objects. In this paper we present and discuss the problem of cross-component memory management where reference cycles across component boundaries may lead to memory leaks and premature reclamation of objects may lead to dangling cross-component references. We provide a generic algorithm for effective, efficient, and safe garbage collection over component boundaries, which we call cross-component tracing. We designed and implemented cross-component tracing in the Chrome web browser where the JavaScript virtual machine V8 is embedded into the rendering engine Blink. Cross-component tracing from V8's JavaScript heap to Blink's C++ heap improves garbage collection latency and eliminates long-standing memory leaks for real websites in Chrome. We show how cross-component tracing can help web developers to reason about reachability and retainment of objects spanning both V8 and Blink components based on Chrome's heap snapshot memory tool. Cross-component tracing was enabled by default for all websites in Chrome version 57 and is also deployed in other widely used software systems such as Opera, Cobalt, and Electron. View details
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