Lazy garbage collection of recovery state for fault-tolerant distributed shared memory

Florin Sultan, Thu D. Nguyen, Liviu Iftode

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


In this paper, we address the problem of garbage collection in a single-failure fault-tolerant home-based lazy release consistency (HLRC) distributed shared-memory (DSM) system based on independent checkpointing and logging. Our solution uses laziness in garbage collection and exploits consistency constraints of the HLRC memory model for low overhead and scalability. We prove safe bounds on the state that must be retained in the system to guarantee correct recovery after a failure. We devise two algorithms for garbage collection of checkpoints and logs, checkpoint garbage collection (CGC), and lazy log trimming (LLT). The proposed approach targets large-scale distributed shared-memory computing on local-area clusters of computers. In such systems, using global synchronization or extra communication for garbage collection is inefficient or simply impractical due to system scale and temporary disconnections in communication. The challenge lies in controlling the size of the logs and the number of checkpoints without global synchronization while tolerating transient disruptions in communication. Our garbage collection scheme is completely distributed, does not force processes to synchronize, does not add extra messages to the base DSM protocol, and uses only the available DSM protocol information. Evaluation results for real applications show that it effectively bounds the number of past checkpoints to be retained and the size of the Jogs in stable storage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)673-686
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Signal Processing
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics


  • Checkpointing
  • Distributed shared memory
  • Fault tolerance
  • Garbage collection
  • Log-based rollback recovery

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