Bryan Scappini
Cheney's Algorithm applet

Introduction: This applet graphically illustrates the Cheney's algorithm for a copying, semispace garbage collecting algorithm. It allows for stepping forward and backward through examples with associated text descriptions and for loading of arbitrary examples.

Included in the applet are three source files,, and The files hold the following purposes:
In addition there are two other files included in this submission: Once you start the applet, you are shown the default collection example which is built in. The main component shows a graphical representation of memory of the example: the root cells are shown in the top row of cons cells and the second row of cons cells shows the from-space of the heap. The buttons on the left allow you to step the current example forward or backwards by clicking the appropriate button. As you do so, the picture of the memory will update as new cons cells are allocated in the bottom row (the to-space) and pointers are moved and updated. In addition, the cons cells will change colors based upon what it happening: Furthermore, at each step, a brief text description of what is taking place is added to the scrolling text area at the bottom of the applet. The other two buttons allow you to reset the current example to its beginning state, or to load a new example. To load a new example, you are prompted for a filename giving a file which contains the example information: this allows you to prepare beforehand then quickly load several different examples. The format of the input file is outlined by the sample file below:
# Here is a sample example file; notice that comment lines begin with '#'
# The first line of the file is the number of root cons cells
# The second line are the pointers of the root cons cells; -1 means no
#   pointer, other numbers are indexes into the from-space (0 points to 
#   first cells in from space, 1 points to next, etc...). Parens and commas
#   are allowed.
((0 -1) (0 1) (-1 1))
# The third line is the number fo from-space cons cells; this has to be at
#   least the greatest number from the previous line + 1
# The fourth line are the from-space cell pointers; these reference other cells 
#   in the from-space
((-1 -1) (0 -1) (1 -1))
# This file should end with a comment or blank line
Essentially, the input file has at least four lines with optional comment lines. Comment lines begin with '#'. The four lines give the number of root cons cells, their pointers into the heap, the number of heap cons cells, and the heap cells' pointers. If any of this data is missing, improperly formatted, or inconsistent, then the new example will fail to load the current example will remain unchanged.