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A Study of the Allocation Behavior of the SPECjvm98 Java Benchmarks Sylvia Dieckmann and Urs H lzle Department of Computer Science University of California Santa Barbara CA 93106 sylvie urs cs ucsb edu Abstract We present an analysis of the memory usage for six of the Java programs in the SPECjvm98 benchmark suite Most of the programs are realworld applications with high demands on the memory system For each program we measured as much low level data as possible including age and size distribution type distribution and the overhead of object alignment Among other things we found that non pointer data usually represents more than 50 of the allocated space for instance objects that Java objects tend to live longer than objects in Smalltalk or ML and that they are fairly small 1 Introduction Java has brought garbage collection to the mainstream being the first truly popular language in the C C tradition that requires garbage collection GC Since Java differs in many respects from other languages requiring GC such as Smalltalk ML or Lisp the GC behavior of Java programs may well differ from that of programs written in other languages To understand the GC performance of a system one must study the allocation behavior of the targeted applications Every GC implementation leaves room for a waggonload of knobs and levers which impact performance but tuning is difficult since the right settings depend on the characteristics of the executed program which again depends greatly on language features and implementation style To better identify and optimize garbage collectors implementors need detailed empirical information about the allocation behavior of applications For that reason many published studies analyze the allocation behavior in the context of several languages including Smalltalk SML NJ Lisp C and C Ung86 SM94 HMN97 HH 98 Zor89 ZG92 DDZ94 However no in depth analysis of Java programs has been published to date in part because of the lack of a standardized benchmark

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