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Garbage collector

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A garbage collector deallocates unused allocated memory from time to time. This way, in Haskell memory deallocation can be hidden, making the language (more) declarative.

A simple idea of implementing a garbage collector would be to count the references to an object and delete the object when the last reference disappears.

However, in cyclic data structures like
let x = 'a':x in x
, the
x
is referenced by itself, so it would never be deallocated. Thus garbage collection is a bit more complicated and thus needs more effort and phases, where it is applied. Garbage collection is also a bit difficult to handle with respect to real-time processing.

See also