Generational garbage collectors are able to achieve very small pause times by concentrating on the youngest (most recently allocated) objects when collecting, since objects have been observed to die young in many systems. Generational collectors must keep track of all pointers from older to younger generations, by “monitoring” all stores into the heap. This write barrier has been implemented in a number of ways, varying essentially in the granularity of the information observed and stored. Here we examine a range of write barrier implementations and evaluate their relative performance within a generation scavenging garbage collector for Smalltalk.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/eliot_moss/57/