Garbage Collection for Flexible Hard Real-Time Systems

Yang Chang, Andy Wellings

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hard real-time systems always choose not to use garbage collection in order to avoid its unpredictable executions. Much effort has been expended trying to build predictable garbage collectors which can provide both temporal and spatial guarantees. Unfortunately, most existing work leads to systems that cannot easily achieve a balance between temporal and spatial performances. Moreover, the scheduling of garbage collectors has not been integrated into modern real-time scheduling frameworks, which makes the benefits provided by the advancement of scheduling techniques very difficult to obtain. This paper argues that the existing design criteria for real-time garbage collectors do not reflect the unique requirements of flexible hard real-time systems. As a part of our design criteria, a new performance indicator is proposed to describe the capability of a real-time garbage collector to achieve a better balance between temporal and spatial performances. A hybrid garbage collection algorithm is designed accordingly which also uses dual priority scheduling algorithm to reclaim spare capacity while guaranteeing deadlines.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5383349
Pages (from-to)1063-1075
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Computers
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010


  • Real-time hybrid garbage collection
  • garbage collection granularity
  • advanced real-time scheduling

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