A garbage collection technique where each memory cell contains a count of the number of other cells which point to it. If this count reaches zero the cell is freed and its pointers to other cells are followed to decrement their counts, and so on recursively.
This technique cannot cope with circular data structures. Cells in such structures refer (indirectly) to themselves and so will never have a zero reference count. This means they would never be reclaimed, even when there are no references from outside the structure.
noun 1. an act or instance of referring. 2. a mention; allusion. 3. something for which a name or designation stands; denotation. 4. a direction in a book or writing to some other book, passage, etc. 5. a book, passage, etc., to which one is directed. 6. reference mark (def 2). 7. material contained in […]
noun, Physical Chemistry. 1. an electrode of known oxidation potential used in determining the electromotive force of a galvanic cell.
noun, Physics. 1. frame of reference (def 2). reference frame (rěf’ər-əns) A basis of a four-dimensional coordinate system in which the first coordinate is understood as a time coordinate, while the other three coordinates represent spatial dimensions. Inertial frames and non-inertial frames are both examples of reference frames. Also called frame of reference. See also […]
noun, Sociology. 1. a group with which an individual identifies and whose values the individual accepts as guiding principles. noun in sociology, a group with which one identifies and shares attitudes, beliefs, or ideals; also, a group which a person hopes to join