The Warren abstract machine (WAM) has become a generally accepted standard Prolog implementation technique. Garbage collection is an important aspect in the implementation of any Prolog system. A synopsis of the WAM is presented and then marking and compaction algorithms are shown that take advantage of WAM's unique use of the data areas. Marking and compaction are performed on both the heap and the trail; both use pointer reversal techniques, which obviate the need for extra stack space. However, two bits for every pointer on the heap are reserved for the garbage collection algorithm. The algorithm can work on segments of the heap, which may lead to a significant reduction of the total garbage collection time. The time of the algorithms are linear in the size of the areas.
The full text of this article is premium content
No entries found
Log in to Read the Full Article
Please select one of the options below for access to premium content and features.
Create a Web Account
If you are already an ACM member, Communications subscriber, or Digital Library subscriber, please set up a web account to access premium content on this site.
Join the ACM
Become a member to take full advantage of ACM's outstanding computing information resources, networking opportunities, and other benefits.
Subscribe to Communications of the ACM Magazine
Get full access to 50+ years of CACM content and receive the print version of the magazine monthly.
Purchase the Article
Non-members can purchase this article or a copy of the magazine in which it appears.