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Managed languages such as Java and C# are increasingly being considered for hard real-time applications because of their productivity and software engineering advantages. Automatic memory management, or garbage collection, is a key enabler for robust, reusable libraries, yet remains a challenge for analysis and implementation of real-time execution environments. This paper comprehensively compares the two leading approaches to hard real-time garbage collection. While there are many design decisions involved in selecting a real-time garbage collection algorithm, for time-based garbage collectors researchers and practitioners remain undecided as to whether to choose periodic scheduling or slack-based scheduling.
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