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Nova: Safe Off-Heap Memory Allocation and Reclamation

Authors Ramy Fakhoury, Anastasia Braginsky, Idit Keidar, Yoav Zuriel



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Author Details

Ramy Fakhoury
  • Technion, Haifa, Israel
Anastasia Braginsky
  • Red Hat Research, Ra'anana, Israel
Idit Keidar
  • Technion, Haifa, Israel
Yoav Zuriel
  • Technion, Haifa, Israel

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Ramy Fakhoury, Anastasia Braginsky, Idit Keidar, and Yoav Zuriel. Nova: Safe Off-Heap Memory Allocation and Reclamation. In 27th International Conference on Principles of Distributed Systems (OPODIS 2023). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 286, pp. 15:1-15:20, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2023)
https://doi.org/10.4230/LIPIcs.OPODIS.2023.15

Abstract

In recent years, we begin to see Java-based systems embrace off-heap allocation for their big data demands. As of today, these system rely on simple ad-hoc garbage-collection solutions, which restrict the usage of off-heap data. This paper introduces the abstraction of safe off-heap memory allocation and reclamation (SOMAR), a thread-safe memory allocation and reclamation scheme for off-heap data in otherwise managed environments. SOMAR allows multi-threaded Java programs to use off-heap memory seamlessly. To realize this abstraction, we present Nova, Novel Off-heap Versioned Allocator, a lock-free SOMAR implementation. Our experiments show that Nova can be used to store off-heap data in Java data structures with better performance than ones managed by Java’s automatic GC. We further integrate Nova into the open-source Oak concurrent map library, which allows Oak to reclaim keys while the data structure is being accessed.

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Software and its engineering
Keywords
  • memory reclamation
  • concurrency
  • performance
  • off-heap allocation

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