Yesterday I hit a memory limit while submitting a problem solution to an online judge. All because I used a wrong declaration of a multidimensional array. In case of C or C++ language this would not be a problem, but due to the fact that in Java everything is an object (despite primitive types), we should calculate allocated memory differently for multidimensional arrays.
For instance, in C++ the size of this array is 96 bytes (assuming we have 4-byte int):
2 * 3 * 4 = 24. Plus 4 bytes for each due to
int type and we get total of 24 * 4 = 96.
If we declare the array like this, result would be the same:
Let’s compare these two declarations in Java:
int arr = new int;
int arr = new int;
There is not much different from the data storage viewpoint, however the first one requires much more memory. Here is why:
1. Array in Java is an object itself. Every object (not near the reference, but in the heap) holds few additional bytes for the object header information. This header contains data necessary for the VM, which later uses it for the garbage collector or some other purposes. As far as I know, generally it takes 8 bytes in case of a 32-bit machine and 16 bytes in case of a 64-bit one. Apart from this, an object holds information about the array size – that’s additional 4 bytes. Also padding in memory might take few more bytes. So, I won’t start precise calculations and let’s assume that each array object (excluding array elements) takes X bytes.
int[a][b] – In Java language this is ‘a’ number of arrays which contain ‘b’ number of elements. I.e. we have
a+1 number of objects instead of just one.
int[a][b][k] In case of a three-dimensional one
a * b + a + 1 number of object, etc.
Now let’s calculate and compare sizes of these arrays:
(40,000 * 200 + 40,000 + 1) * X + (40,000 * 200 * 2 * 4)
(2 * 200 + 2 + 1) * X + (40,000 * 200 * 2 * 4)
Clearly, the second part, which calculates the total size of elements based on
int type, will be the same. But according to the first part we will have 8,039,598 excessive objects in case of the first array, consequently it will take considerable larger memory.
By the way, I cannot see if this number is real with profiler, do you have any idea how to check this?