Performance of GC.collect() for single block of `byte`s

Rainer Schuetze r.sagitario at
Mon Oct 1 07:21:11 UTC 2018

On 28/09/2018 14:21, Per Nordlöw wrote:
> On Monday, 24 September 2018 at 14:31:45 UTC, Steven Schveighoffer wrote:
>> It's not scanning the blocks. But it is scanning the stack.
>> Each time you are increasing the space it must search for a given 
>> *target*. It also must *collect* any previous items at the end of the 
>> scan. Note that a collection is going to mark every single page and 
>> bitset that is contained in the item being collected (which gets 
>> increasingly larger).
> Is this because of the potentially (many) slices referencing this large 
> block?
> I assume the GC doesn't scan the `byte`-array for pointer-values in this 
> case, but that happens for `void`-arrays and class/pointer-arrays right?
> Couldn't that scan be optimized by adding a bitset that indicates which 
> pages need to be scanned?
> Is it common for GC's to treat large objects in this way?

A profiler reveals that most of the time is spent in "sweeping" the 
memory, i.e. looking for allocations no longer referenced. The existing 
implementation checks every page which causes a linear growth of 
required CPU resources with used memory.

This version takes 
advantage of the known size of allocations to skip unnecessary checks. 
The last commit also adds support for keeping track of the size of 
blocks of consecutive free pages. With this your example has more or 
less constant collection time (note that most of the program time is 
spent setting the array to zero, though not measured, and that the 
allocation often triggers a collection, too).

I also noticed a rather serious bug for huge allocations:

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