Skip to main content

Control theory for principled heap sizing

White, David R. and Singer, Jeremy and Aitken, Jonathan M. and Jones, Richard E. (2013) Control theory for principled heap sizing. In: Proceedings of the 2013 international symposium on memory management. ISMM International Symposium on Memory Management . ACM, New York, USA, pp. 27-38. ISBN 978-1-4503-2100-6. (doi:10.1145/2555670.2466481) (KAR id:37199)

PDF Publisher pdf
Language: English
Download (765kB) Preview
[thumbnail of ismm04-singer.pdf]
This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology.
Request an accessible format
Official URL:


We propose a new, principled approach to adaptive heap sizing based on control theory. We review current state-of-the-art heap sizing mechanisms, as deployed in Jikes RVM and HotSpot. We then formulate heap sizing as a control problem, apply and tune a standard controller algorithm, and evaluate its performance on a set of well-known benchmarks. We find our controller adapts the heap size more responsively than existing mechanisms. This responsiveness allows tighter virtual machine memory footprints while preserving target application throughput, which is ideal for both embedded and utility computing domains. In short, we argue that formal, systematic approaches to memory management should be replacing ad-hoc heuristics as the discipline matures.

Item Type: Book section
DOI/Identification number: 10.1145/2555670.2466481
Uncontrolled keywords: control theory, ergonomics, heap size, hotspot, jikes rvm, virtual machines
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics (inc Computing science) > QA 76 Software, computer programming,
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Computing, Engineering and Mathematical Sciences > School of Computing
Depositing User: Richard Jones
Date Deposited: 04 Dec 2013 23:24 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 10:13 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Jones, Richard E.:
  • Depositors only (login required):


Downloads per month over past year