School of Computing

Scheduling hard real-time garbage collection

Tomas Kalibera, Filip Pizlo, Antony L. Hosking, and Jan Vitek

In Proceedings of the 30th IEEE Real-Time Systems Symposium (RTSS), pages 182-196. IEEE, December 2009 [doi].


Managed languages such as Java and C# are increasingly being considered for hard real-time applications because of their productivity and software engineering advantages. Automatic memory management, or garbage collection, is a key enabler for robust, reusable libraries, yet remains a challenge for analysis and implementation of real-time execution environments. This paper comprehensively compares the two leading approaches to hard real-time garbage collection. While there are many design decisions involved in selecting a real-time garbage collection algorithm, for time-based garbage collectors researchers and practitioners remain undecided as to whether to choose periodic scheduling or slack-based scheduling. A significant impediment to valid experimental comparison is that the commercial implementations use completely different proprietary infrastructures. Here, we present Minuteman, a framework for experimenting with real-time collection algorithms in the context of a high-performance execution environment for real-time Java. We provide the first comparison of the two approaches, both experimentally using realistic workloads, and analytically in terms of schedulability.

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Bibtex Record

author = {Tomas Kalibera and Filip Pizlo and Antony L. Hosking and Jan Vitek},
title = {Scheduling Hard Real-Time Garbage Collection},
month = {December},
year = {2009},
pages = {182-196},
keywords = {determinacy analysis, Craig interpolants},
note = {},
doi = {10.1109/RTSS.2009.40},
url = {},
    publication_type = {inproceedings},
    submission_id = {1857_1308854887},
    ISBN = {978-0-7695-3875-4},
    booktitle = {Proceedings of the 30th IEEE Real-Time Systems Symposium (RTSS)},
    publisher = {IEEE},
    refereed = {yes},

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