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Publication# Detailed heap profiling

Abstract

Modern software systems heavily use the memory heap. As systems grow more complex and compute with increasing amounts of data, it can be difficult for developers to understand how their programs actually use the bytes that they allocate on the heap and whether improvements are possible. To answer this question of heap usage efficiency, we have built a new, detailed heap profiler called Memoro. Memoro uses a combination of static instrumentation, subroutine interception, and runtime data collection to build a clear picture of exactly when and where a program performs heap allocation, and crucially how it actually uses that memory. Memoro also introduces a new visualization application that can distill collected data into scores and visual cues that allow developers to quickly pinpoint and eliminate inefficient heap usage in their software. Our evaluation and experience with several applications demonstrates that Memoro can reduce heap usage and produce runtime improvements of 10%.

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D-ary heap

The d-ary heap or d-heap is a priority queue data structure, a generalization of the binary heap in which the nodes have d children instead of 2. Thus, a binary heap is a 2-heap, and a ternary heap is a 3-heap. According to Tarjan and Jensen et al., d-ary heaps were invented by Donald B. Johnson in 1975. This data structure allows decrease priority operations to be performed more quickly than binary heaps, at the expense of slower delete minimum operations.

Binary heap

A binary heap is a heap data structure that takes the form of a binary tree. Binary heaps are a common way of implementing priority queues. The binary heap was introduced by J. W. J. Williams in 1964, as a data structure for heapsort. A binary heap is defined as a binary tree with two additional constraints: Shape property: a binary heap is a complete binary tree; that is, all levels of the tree, except possibly the last one (deepest) are fully filled, and, if the last level of the tree is not complete, the nodes of that level are filled from left to right.

Heap (data structure)

In computer science, a heap is a specialized tree-based data structure that satisfies the heap property: In a max heap, for any given node C, if P is a parent node of C, then the key (the value) of P is greater than or equal to the key of C. In a min heap, the key of P is less than or equal to the key of C. The node at the "top" of the heap (with no parents) is called the root node. The heap is one maximally efficient implementation of an abstract data type called a priority queue, and in fact, priority queues are often referred to as "heaps", regardless of how they may be implemented.

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