Page Pinning Improves Performance of Generational Garbage Collection

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Title: Page Pinning Improves Performance of Generational Garbage Collection
Author: Sawyer, Richard Kevin
Advisors: Dr. Edward F. Gehringer, Committee Chair
Dr. Gregory T. Byrd, Committee Member
Dr. Suleyman Sair, Committee Member
Abstract: Garbage collection became widely used with the growing popularity of the Java programming language. For garbage-collected programs, memory latency is an important performance factor. Thus, a reduction in the cache miss rate will boost performance. In most programs, the majority of references are to newly allocated objects (the nursery). This work evaluates a page-mapping strategy that pins the nursery in a portion of the L2 cache. Pinning maps nursery pages in a way that prevents conflict misses for them, but increases the number of conflict misses for other objects. Cache performance is measured by the miss-rate improvement and speedup obtained by pinning on the SPECjvm98 and the DaCapo benchmarks. Pinning is shown to produce a lower global miss rate than competing virtual-memory mapping strategies, such as page coloring and bin hopping. This improvement in miss rate shortens overall execution time for practically every benchmark and every configuration. Pinning greatly reduces average pause time and variability of pause times for nursery collections.
Date: 2006-05-04
Degree: MS
Discipline: Computer Engineering

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