Efficient and Reliable Lock-Free Memory Reclamation Based on Reference Counting
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2009

We present an efficient and practical lock-free method for semiautomatic (application-guided) memory reclamation based on reference counting, aimed for use with arbitrary lock-free dynamic data structures. The method guarantees the safety of local as well as global references, supports arbitrary memory reuse, uses atomic primitives that are available in modern computer systems, and provides an upper bound on the amount of memory waiting to be reclaimed. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first lock-free method that provides all of these properties. We provide analytical and experimental study of the method. The experiments conducted have shown that the method can also provide significant performance improvements for lock-free algorithms of dynamic data structures that require strong memory management.


garbage collection

memory reclamation

shared memory

Memory management


data structures


Anders Gidenstam


Marina Papatriantafilou

Chalmers, Data- och informationsteknik, Nätverk och system

Håkan Sundell

Högskolan i Borås

Philippas Tsigas

Chalmers, Data- och informationsteknik, Nätverk och system

IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems

1045-9219 (ISSN) 15582183 (eISSN)

Vol. 20 8 1173-1187



Datavetenskap (datalogi)



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