CGCExplorer: A semi-automated search procedure for provably correct concurrent collectors

Martin T. Vechev, Eran Yahav, David F. Bacon, Noam Rinetzky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Concurrent garbage collectors are notoriously hard to design, implement, and verify. We present a framework for the automatic exploration of a space of concurrent mark-and-sweep collectors. In our framework, the designer specifies a set of "building blocks" from which algorithms can be constructed. These blocks reflect the designer's insights about the coordination between the collector and the mutator. Given a set of building blocks, our framework automatically explores a space of algorithms, using model checking with abstraction to verify algorithms in the space. We capture the intuition behind some common mark-and-sweep algorithms using a set of building blocks. We utilize our framework to automatically explore a space of more than 1,600,000 algorithms built from these blocks, and derive over 100 correct fine-grained algorithms with various space, synchronization, and precision tradeoffs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)456-467
Number of pages12
JournalACM SIGPLAN Notices
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2007


  • Concurrent algorithms
  • Concurrent garbage collection
  • Synthesis
  • Verification


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