OCT 30, 2019 11:59 AM PDT

Mesh: New Computer Memory Compacting System

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

Internet browsers and smartphone apps use a lot of memory which often affect the efficiency of other critical applications particularly programs written in C or C-like languages. Now, Emery Berger, a professor of computer science and an expert in memory management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, created a system referred to as ‘Mesh’ that can reduce such memory demands by working on “virtual memory.

"This is how memory gets wasted," says Berger. "Imagine a Tetris board where you could stop and reorganize it at any time -- this would make the game a lot easier, because you could always squeeze out the empty space. But you can't do this in C, just as you can't do it in Tetris."

Study authors believe that Mesh will have a significant impact on the computing world. But, how exactly does it work on virtual memory?

"The trick is to find chunks of memory that can be interleaved, sort of like when interlocking gears mesh," Berger explains. "This meshing process works because we only change things in 'physical' memory. From the perspective of the program, which can only see 'virtual' memory, nothing has changed. This is powerful because we can do this for any application automatically."

Learn more on how computer memory works:

"This is something that everyone thought to be impossible," notes professor Andrew McGregor. "After Emery had his key insight, we were able to analyze it theoretically and design an efficient algorithm to implement the idea. Against almost 50 years of conventional wisdom, it's great that we now have a solution to this important problem that not only works in theory, but is practical."

Source: Science Daily

About the Author
BS/MS
Nouran is a scientist, educator, and life-long learner with a passion for making science more communicable. When not busy in the lab isolating blood macrophages, she enjoys writing on various STEM topics.
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