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Memory management in Operating System

Learn: In this article, we are going to study about the memory management of computer system by operating system. We understand what are the different activities performed by memory management of operating system?
Submitted by Amit Shukla, on August 02, 2017

As we know that the memory management of computer system is one of the important features of the operating system. To study more about different features of operating system you can refer: Introduction to Operating System and their Types.

Memory management features of the operating system help the computer system in allocating the main memory space to the processes and their data at the time of execution. Along with the allocation of main memory space to processes, memory management also performs the following activities:

  • Upgrading performance
    Memory management also helps in upgrading the performance of computer system. Due to memory management of the computer system, the computer system remains stable and gives a good performance as a result.
  • Execution of multiple processes
    Memory management enables the execution of multiple processes at the same time in the computer system.
  • Utilization of memory space
    Memory management shares the same memory space among different processes. Hence we can perform many tasks at a particular memory space.
Memory management

The above figure gives an outlook of memory management of the operating system.

Memory management is one of the most important features of the operating system because it affects the execution time of process directly. As we know, that the execution time of the process directly depends upon the availability of data in the main memory. Therefore, an operating system must perform its memory management in such a form that the essential data is always present in the main memory. An effective memory management system ensures the accuracy, availability, and consistency of the data imported from the secondary memory to the main memory.

An effective method of memory management of computer system by operating system must ensure the following:

  • Correct relocation of data
    The data should be relocated to and from the main memory in such a manner that the currently running process is not affected. For example, if two processes are sharing the same data then the memory management system relocate this data only after ensuring that the two process are no longer referencing the data. This point is must be taken seriously by memory management if operating system. If data will not relocate correctly, then there may be chances of occurrence inconsistency in data.
  • Protection of data from illegal change
    The data present in the main memory should be protected against the unauthorized access and modifications. The memory management system of the operating system should ensure that a process is able to access only that data for which it has the requisite access and it should be prohibited from accessing the data of other processes. Protection also done using some different algorithms which are used to ensure the safety of critical time interval. For more details, you can refer: Process synchronization in operating system.
  • Provision to share the information
    An ideal memory management system must facilitate sharing of data among multiple processes.
  • Utilization of small free space
    A memory management system should be able to apply appropriate defragmentation techniques in order to utilize small chunks of scattered vacant spaces in the main memory.


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