The Effect of Garbage Collection on Cache Performance
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Department of Computer Science
Campus Box #430; University of Colorado, Boulder 80309--0430
Cache performance is an important part of total performance in modern computer systems. This paper describes the use of trace-driven simulation to estimate the effect of garbage collection algorithms on cache performance. Traces from four large Common Lisp programs have been collected and analyzed with an all-associativity cache simulator. While previous work has focused on the effect of garbage collection on page reference locality, this evaluation unambiguously shows that garbage collection algorithms can have a profound effect on cache performance as well. On processors with a direct-mapped cache, a generation stop-and-copy algorithm exhibits a miss rate up to four times higher than a comparable generation mark-and-sweep algorithm. Furthermore, two-way set-associative caches are shown to reduce the miss rate in stop-and-copy algorithms often by a factor of two and sometimes by a factor of almost five over directmapped caches. As processor speeds increase, cache performance will play...