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Visualising dynamic memory allocators

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Title: Visualising dynamic memory allocators
Authors: Cheadle, AM
Field, AJ
Ayres, J
Dunn, N
Hayden, R
Nystrom-Persson, J
Item Type: Conference Paper
Abstract: We present generic extensions to the GCspy visualisation frame-work that make it suitable for tracking the way continuous dynamic memory allocators such as dlmalloc or incremental and concurrent garbage collectors make use of heap memory. These extensions include sample-driven client-server communication, incremental stream updates and client-controlled stream update frequency. Additional extensions to the current GCspy client are also described. These include hierarchical driver grouping and hierarchical visualisation, zooming, and the ability to define and view relationships between tiles in different spaces. We also introduce a heuristics engine that is responsible for flipping GCspy from its decoupled observation mode to a synchronous single-step mode, and describe a backtrace facility that can trace the server-side call sequence that led to the triggering of a specified event, such as the allocation or freeing of a block of memory. This enables aspects of the allocator (fragmentation, block ordering, splitting and coalescing policies, etc.) to be understood in the context of a particular application and potential optimisations to be identified. The effectiveness of the enhanced framework is demonstrated with a complete integration with dlmalloc. The framework is evaluated in terms of both performance and its ability to explore contrived modifications to dlmallocs coalescing policy. Copyright © 2006 ACM.
Issue Date: 1-Dec-2006
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/5766
Publisher Link: http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1133956.1133972
ISBN: 1-5959-3221-6
Publisher: ACM
Presented At: ACM International Symposium on Memory Management
Published Proceedings: The 5th international symposium on Memory management
Start Page: 115
End Page: 125
Copyright Statement: © ACM, 2006. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of ACM for your personal use. Not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in ACM INTERNATIONL SYMPOSIUM ON MEMORY MANAGEMENT, (2006) http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1133956.1133972
Conference Location: Ottawa, Canada
Appears in Collections:Computing
High Performance Informatics