[rust-dev] Interesting paper on RC vs GC

Sebastian Sylvan sebastian.sylvan at gmail.com
Mon Apr 30 23:23:42 PDT 2012

I found this quite interesting. The upshot is that they measure perf.
of state-of-the-art GC vs RC and finds the latter to be about 30%
slower. However, they also figure out where it's slower, and apply
some simple optimizations bringing it to roughly on-par with GC, perf.
wise. I'm thinking that Rust's language-based techniques for reducing
reference increments (higly stack-based allocations, etc.), combined
with the fact that reference counts are cheaper (since they're task
local), could mean these techniques in the setting of Rust would make
it beat GC. And if not, at least the performance measurements are

R. Shahriyar, S. M. Blackburn, and D. Frampton, "Down for the Count?
Getting Reference Counting Back in the Ring," in Proceedings of the
Eleventh ACM SIGPLAN International Symposium on Memory Management,
ISMM ‘12, Beijing, China, June 15-16, 2012.


Sebastian Sylvan

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