Garbage collection numbers found
Sun, 29 Nov 1992 08:34:55 GMT

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Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Organization: Compilers Central
Date: Sun, 29 Nov 1992 08:34:55 GMT
Keywords: storage, bibliography
References: 92-11-138

Last week I posted looking for statistics on the debugging time saved by
providing automatic storage reclamation for the programmer. Kelvin Nilsen
sent me a pretty detailed reference, which I include below. I got a lot of
messages asking me to forward any answer that I got, so here it is.

Reply-To: (Kelvin Don Nilsen)

Probably, the report you are thinking of is:

    Paul Rovner. On adding garbage collection and run-time types to
      a strongly-typed statically checked, concurrent language. TR CSL-84-7,
      Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, Palo Alto, CA, July 1985.

in this report, Rovner estimates that developers using Mesa
spend about 40% of their development time implementing memory
management procedures and debugging errors related to explicit
storage reclamation.

Joel Bartlett ( has been cited as reporting that
  ``a large fraction of software-caused total system failures are caused
      by memory managment errors.''

Both of these observations are described in:

    Benjamin Zorn. The Measured Cost of Conservative Garbage Collection.
        CU-CS-573-92, April 1992. (

I do not have the Rovner paper. I wish I did. If you figure out how
  to order it, please let me know.

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