Essay: Pros and Cons of Reference Counting

Essay: Pros and Cons of Reference Counting
27/06/2011 Comments Off on Essay: Pros and Cons of Reference Counting Academic Papers on Information Technology,Sample Academic Papers admin

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Due to its easy implementation reference counting technique can be used highly. Reference counting is also one of the best techniques which get back the memory space instantaneously. Space usage is impacted immensely with this technique and the speed of implementation is also amplified with its simple technique of keeping and maintaining a counter by an object. The biggest problem with this technique is its unreachable attitude towards cyclic structures. The objects which are a part of cycle would never be able to maintain the count correctly because the count will never reach zero. This con of reference counting is the reason for it’s seldom usage. It is used with the systems and languages that do not support cyclic structure (Dehne & Lins, 1994). Also it is commonly used in combination with a type of garbage collector call mark and sweep GC which is further elaborated later in this paper.

Michael Hicks and his team mates had reservations about the reference counting problem in a way that when they tried out type-safe mechanisms and statically-scoped regions they found that alternative generalizations can be adapted to make it worthwhile. His team found out that the alternative generalizations made to memory management may indeed include reference counted objects in order to provide the objects with bendable foundation (Hicks, Morrisett, Grossman, & Hicks, 2004).

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