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Communications of the ACM

Communications of the ACM

A note on Cheney's nonrecursive list-compacting algorithm

Cheney's list-compacting algorithm [1] goes into an infinite loop when it traces a circular list consisting exclusively of non-items. While it may be reasonable to say that such lists should not exist, it would be very difficult to legislate out of existence programs which illegally create such lists because of bugs, and it would not do for the garbage collector to break down in this instance.

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