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Communications of the ACM

Communications of the ACM

A bounded storage algorithm for copying cyclic structures

A new algorithm is presented which copies cyclic list structures using bounded workspace and linear time. Unlike a previous similar algorithm, this one makes no assumptions about the storage allocation system in use and uses only operations likely to be available in a high-level language. The distinctive feature of this algorithm is a technique for traversing the structure twice, using the same spanning tree in each case, first from left to right and then from right to left.

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