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What is dynamic memory allocation?

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2009-05-12 21:01:39
2009-05-12 21:01:39

Often an application needs additional memory for the temporary storage of data. For example, the C programming language allows the programmer to use the MALLOC (memory allocate) function to grab a chunk of memory suitable for the applications needs. Failure to release the memory after it is used by using the FREE function can result in problems. It is called dynamic memory allocation because the memory is allocated at run-time, as needed. Unlike variables created within functions - the memory is not allocated on the processor stack, instead, when using MALLOC or the 'new' keyword, memory is allocated in the applications virtual address space.

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By using dynamic memory allocation we can prevent wastege of memory.

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The memory allocated at runtime is dynamic memory allocation and the memory allocated during coding is static memory allocation.

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There are two types of memory allocations. 1. Static memory allocation 2. Dynamic memory allocation

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Static Memory Allocation: Allocating the total memory requirements that a data structure might need all at once without regard for the actual amount needed at execution time. Dynamic Memory Allocation: The opposite strategy of static memory allocation - Dynamic Memory Allocation, involves allocating memory as-needed.

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Static memory allocation is memory allocated on the "stack" and cannot be resized after the initial allocation, while dynamic memory allocation is memory allocated in the "heap", and can be dynamically expanded and shrunk as necessary.

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dynamic memory allocation is that type of memory which create to allocate the memory on running time or at compile time by the function of malloc , calloc , realloc and free. dynamic memory allocation is give the best utilization of memory which gives the sufficient use of memory.

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Dynamic memory allocation is at runtime. static memory allocation is before run time, but the values of variables may be changed at run time. Static memory allocation saves running time, but can't be possible in all cases. Dynamic memory allocation stores it's memory on heap, and the static memory allocation stores it's data in the "data segment" of the memory.

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A Static memory allocation can be defined as a predefined memory allocation by the programmer independent and non-changable by the user during execution of the program but where as Dynamic memory allocation allows the user of the program to instruct the program,how much memory he needs,during run time...

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Constructors are necessary to initialize classes. It allows to avoid to a lot of problems with unauthorized access of memory. Dynamic allocation makes possible allocation of memory during execution of program. If you do not use dynamic allocation, all required memory will be allocated during initialization phase (constructors are usually responsible for that). But you can't use more memory. Dynamic allocation was designed to overcome such problems.

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Memory allocation is not necessary to display a matrix.

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Linked lists use dynamic memory allocation (also called "heap memory allocation", as the linked list is stored in heap memory).

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Not freeing it when you no longer need the memory.

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Static memory allocation occurs at compile time where as dynamic memory allocation occurs at run time.

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alloc :- to allocate memory. calloc :- to free the memory.

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In dynamic programming what amount of memory is needed by the programmer are allocated to it dynamically i.e at the run time so that wastage of memory can be avoided.

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Static storage allocation is when a program dedicates an amount of memory for its use at the start of the program. Dynamic storage allocation is when a program only takes storage as it needs it.

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Single-user contiguous Fixed Partitions Dynamic Partitions Relocatable Dynamic Partitions Paged Memory Allocation Demand Paging Working Set Segmented Memory Allocation Segmented/Demand Page Memory Allocation -------Taken from "Understanding Operating Systems. 6th edition pg 99

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The maximum memory that can be dynamically allocated depends on the size of the heap memory. Dynamic blocks of memory can be allocated in system heap until it is not full.

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Segmented page allocation is a type of memory management that uses base and bound registers to determine memory faults, similar to dynamic page allocation. More importantly it is different to dynamic page allocation since the entire process doesn't have to be in memory, similar to using virtual memory paging where the program is broken into pieces. Unlike virtual memory paging, the maximum virtual memory size is limited to the size of physical memory.

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Dynamic memory allocation refers to the allocation of memory to an element at run-time. For eg: In linked lists, the number of elements held by the linked list is not known at compile time. Whenever the user requests to insert or delete an element from the list, memory is allocated/deallocated accordingly. For memory allocation in c, malloc, calloc and realloc functions are used while for deallocation, free is used.

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Static memory is pre determined memory and has a fixed value in it ,while dynamic memory is allocated at run time by depending on the resources used.

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The advantage of dynamic over static memory allocation is twofold: first, it allows supporting applications and algorithms without predicting the exact amount of memory required for a particular problem. Such an algorithm can allocate the correct amount of memory at runtime, or "top up" the previously allocated memory, through dynamic memory allocation services. The second advantage is that the physical memory may be re-used over time: one algorithm may allocate a certain amount of memory at one time, return this memory to the heap later, and allocate another chunk of memory after this. The second allocation might re-use the same physical memory used with the first allocation.The disadvantage of dynamic over static memory allocation is also twofold: first, dynamic memory incurs an administrative overhead and can fragment, so it might be is less efficient than static allocation. Second, dynamic memory consists of allocating the right amount of memory at the right time, using it correctly, and returning it to the pool (typically called the heap) as soon as possible. Failure to do so can cause a memory leak, which can be the cause of severe problems affecting the entire computer.

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Dynamic memory allocation has its positive sides as well as drawbacks. It works great when you know how to manage memory. It allows you to reserve space in memory which can reused by other program or variable later on. Static variables will not allow you to do that. But you have to be careful working with memory allocation because you can try accessing part of the memory used by OS in most cases it will cause "blue screen" (windows).

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Dynamic memory allocation is the responsibility of the application. In traditional programming languages such as C, the application must call the malloc()/free() API (or use the new and delete operators in C++) to allocate and return memory dynamically.More modern languages provide more transparent means of automatic memory allocation. Those are less error prone but can be less memory efficient, leaving the decisions about explicit allocation and return with the runtime system, rather than relying on explicit calls from the application.


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