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the application program interface

In this system, memory is allocated into several pools of memory instead of just one, where each pool represents blocks of memory of a certain power of two in size, or blocks of some other convenient size progression. All blocks of a particular size are kept in a sorted linked list or tree and all new blocks that are formed during allocation are added to their respective memory pools for later use. If a smaller size is requested than is available, the smallest available size is selected and split. One of the resulting parts is selected, and the process repeats until the request is complete. When a block is allocated, the allocator will start with the smallest sufficiently large block to avoid needlessly breaking blocks. When a block is freed, it is compared to its buddy. If they are both free, they are combined and placed in the correspondingly larger-sized buddy-block list.

Slab allocation

Main article: Slab allocation

This memory allocation mechanism preallocates memory chunks suitable to fit objects of a certain type or size.[3] These chunks are called caches and the allocator only has to keep track of a list of free cache slots. Constructing an object will use any one of the free cache slots and destructing an object will add a slot back to the free cache slot list. This technique alleviates memory fragmentation and is efficient as there is no need to search for a suitable portion of memory, as any open slot will suffice.