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2 definitions found
 for garbage collection
From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

  garbage collection
      n 1: the collection and removal of garbage [syn: garbage
           collection, garbage pickup, trash collection, trash
           pickup]

From The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (18 March 2015) :

  garbage collection
  garbage collect
  
      (GC) The process by which dynamically allocated
     storage is reclaimed during the execution of a program.  The
     term usually refers to automatic periodic storage reclamation
     by the garbage collector (part of the run-time system), as
     opposed to explicit code to free specific blocks of memory.
  
     Automatic garbage collection is usually triggered during
     memory allocation when the amount free memory falls below some
     threshold or after a certain number of allocations.  Normal
     execution is suspended and the garbage collector is run.
     There are many variations on this basic scheme.
  
     Languages like Lisp represent expressions as graphs built
     from cells which contain pointers and data.  These languages
     use automatic dynamic storage allocation to build
     expressions.  During the evaluation of an expression it is
     necessary to reclaim space which is used by subexpressions but
     which is no longer pointed to by anything.  This reclaimed
     memory is returned to the free memory pool for subsequent
     reallocation.
  
     Without garbage collection the program's memory requirements
     would increase monotonically throughout execution, possibly
     exceeding system limits on virtual memory size.
  
     The three main methods are mark-sweep garbage collection,
     reference counting and copying garbage collection.
  
     See also the AI koan about garbage collection.
  
     (1997-08-25)
  

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