ACM Transactions on Computer Systems
In-memory caching of intermediate data and active combining of data in shuffle buffers have been shown to be very effective in minimizing the re-computation and I/O cost in big data processing systems such as Spark and Flink. However, it has also been widely reported that these techniques would create a large amount of long-living data objects in the heap. These generated objects may quickly saturate the garbage collector, especially when handling a large dataset, and hence, limit the
... y of the system. To eliminate this problem, we propose a lifetime-based memory management framework, which, by automatically analyzing the user-defined functions and data types, obtains the expected lifetime of the data objects, and then allocates and releases memory space accordingly to minimize the garbage collection overhead. In particular, we present Deca, a concrete implementation of our proposal on top of Spark, which transparently decomposes and groups objects with similar lifetimes into byte arrays and releases their space altogether when their lifetimes come to an end. When systems are processing very large data, Deca also provides field-oriented memory pages to ensure high compression efficiency. Extensive experimental studies using both synthetic and real datasets shows that, in comparing to Spark, Deca is able to 1) reduce the garbage collection time by up to 99.9%, 2) reduce the memory consumption by up to 46.6% and the storage space by 23.4%, 3) achieve 1.2x-22.7x speedup in terms of execution time in cases without data spilling and 16x-41.6x speedup in cases with data spilling, and 4) provide the similar performance comparing to domain specific systems.