[erlang-questions] Erlang and Memory management

Ulf Wiger ulf.wiger@REDACTED
Wed Jun 1 09:13:12 CEST 2011

On 1 Jun 2011, at 09:09, Ulf Wiger wrote:

> Actually, one of the innovations of the Erlang team (Robert and Joe [1], I believe) was to realise that when no cyclical data structures are allowed, and data structures are immutable, GC is much helped by the fact that all pointers point from newer data to older data, and GC can easily be made re-entrant. Thus, incremental GC fits Erlang very well, and real-time performance need not be sacrificed.

In fact, the Erlang Processor (ECOMP) made use of this fact and ran garbage collection in parallel with program execution. In that way, no CPU cycles were sacrificed for garbage collection, which ought to be about as real-time as it gets. :)

Ulf W

Ulf Wiger, CTO, Erlang Solutions, Ltd.

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