Trusted answers to developer questions
Trusted Answers to Developer Questions

Related Tags

memory allocation
dynamic memory
python
python3
heap

What is a private heap space?

Educative Answers Team
svg viewer

Python’s memory management

Python is an interpreter based language that dynamically allocates memory using its Memory Manager. Although it takes away the liberty of managing the memory from the developer, it hands out some tools to make the code more robust and understandable.

Since there is no option for manual memory management, Python uses a built-in Garbage Collector that continuously looks for un-referenced objects and deletes them from memory. This ensures good optimization of memory at the cost of the speed of code execution.

Heap Space

Heap space in Python primarily maintains all objects and data structures, whereas its counterpart, stack space, contains all the references to the objects in heap space.

When an object is updated, the new value is written at a new location and the variable is referenced to the new address. As soon as references to an object reach 00, the Garbage Collector wipes it from the heap. This is different from other languages like C++, where the value is updated at the same location.

Code

Below is a small code to demonstrate how the heap functions.

import weakref
class elephant():
    pass

#SLIDE 1

#Initializing an int and a string
my_int1 = 10
my_object = elephant()

#SLIDE 2

#Displaying id before update
print("ID before update:", hex(id(my_int1)))
#Updating my_int1 value
my_int1 *= 2
#Displaying id after update
print("ID after update:", hex(id(my_int1)))

#Creating a weak reference to my_string
my_object2 = weakref.ref(my_object)
#my_string and my_string2 points to same memory location
print("my_object location:", hex(id(my_object)))
print("my_object2 weak reference:", my_object2)

#SLIDE 3

#Removing my_string reference
my_object = None

#SLIDE 4

#my_string2 points to dead space
print("my_object2 weak reference:", my_object2)

Explanation

  • Two objects are created.
  • my_object is a strong reference to the object elephant.
  • It can be observed that the address of my_int1 changes after it is updated.
  • A weak reference is created to my_object. This weak reference does not increase the number of references to the object, it just shows its location. Therefore, we need at least one strong reference to keep the object alive, otherwise, the Garbage Collector destroys it to optimize memory.
  • When my_object is no longer pointing to the object elephant, references to this object are equal to 00.
  • Consequently, the ​Garbage Collector removed the object.
Two objects created
1 of 4

RELATED TAGS

memory allocation
dynamic memory
python
python3
heap
Copyright ©2022 Educative, Inc. All rights reserved
RELATED COURSES

View all Courses

Keep Exploring