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Modern Compiler Implementation in C by Maia Ginsburg, Andrew W. Appel

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13

Garbage Collection

gar-bage: unwanted or useless material

Webster’s Dictionary

Heap-allocated records that are not reachable by any chain of pointers from program variables are garbage. The memory occupied by garbage should be reclaimed for use in allocating new records. This process is called garbage collection, and is performed not by the compiler but by the runtime system (the support programs linked with the compiled code).

Ideally, we would say that any record that is not dynamically live (will not be used in the future of the computation) ...

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