Deriving distributed garbage collectors from distributed termination algorithms
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This thesis concentrates on the derivation of a modularised version of the DMOS distributed garbage collection algorithm and the implementation of this algorithm in a distributed computational environment. DMOS appears to exhibit a unique combination of attractive characteristics for a distributed garbage collector but the original algorithm is known to contain a bug and, previous to this work, lacks a satisfactory, understandable implementation. The relationship between distributed termination detection algorithms and distributed garbage collectors is central to this thesis. A modularised DMOS algorithm is developed using a previously published distributed garbage collector derivation methodology that centres on mapping centralised collection schemes to distributed termination detection algorithms. In examining the utility and suitability of the derivation methodology, a family of six distributed collectors is developed and an extension to the methodology is presented. The research work described in this thesis incorporates the definition and implementation of a distributed computational environment based on the ProcessBase language and a generic definition of a previously unimplemented distributed termination detection algorithm called Task Balancing. The role of distributed termination detection in the DMOS collection mechanisms is defined through a process of step-wise refinement. The implementation of the collector is achieved in two stages; the first stage defines the implementation of two distributed termination mappings with the Task Balancing algorithm; the second stage defines the DMOS collection mechanisms.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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