C++ Loki The Fixed Size Allocator

C++ Loki The Fixed Size Allocator

The Fixed Size Allocator

In the Small Object Allocator hierarchy structure, the fixed size allocator lies in the second position just after chunk. Chunk could allocate only fixed size of memory based on the  size of unsigned character that is 255 bytes of memory. On the other hand, FixedAllocator doesn't limit allocation based on size of chunk. It conglomerates a vector of Chunk objects. The request received is passed on to chunk to allocate memory, if all chunk are filled, it appends a new chunk to the existing vector. The definition of FixedAllocator is given below:

class FixedAllocator
std::size_t blockSize_;
unsigned char numBlocks_;
typedef std::vector<Chunk> Chunks;
Chunks chunks_;
Chunk* allocChunk_;
Chunk* deallocChunk_;


The allocChunk_ is a pointer which holds the position of the last chunk which was allocated. The request checks allocChunk_ for available space. If space is available the request is satisfied or else the chunk vector is updated by appending a new chunk to the vector. The time complexity of FixedAllocator is constant. The allocator function implements this logic which is defined below:

void* FixedAllocator::Allocate()
if (allocChunk_ == 0 ||
allocChunk_->blocksAvailable_ == 0)
// Memory unavailable in this chunk
// Try to find one
Chunks::iterator i = chunks_.begin();
for (;; ++i)
if (i == chunks_.end())
// Last chunk is too filled
// appending a new chunk to the vector
chunks_.reserve(chunks _.size()+1);
Chunk newChunk;
newChunk.Init(blockSize_, numBlocks_);
allocChunk_ = &chunks_.back();
deallocChunk_ = &chunks_.back();
if (i->blocksAvailable_ > 0)
// Found a chunk
allocChunk_ = &*i;
assert(allocChunk_ != 0);
assert(allocChunk_->blocksAvailable_ > 0);
return allocChunk_->Allocate(blockSize_);


One way of deallocation would be to check the pointer which is to be deallocated in the whole chunks_ vector i.e. from pData_ to pData_ + blockSize_ * numBlocks_. The time complexity would be linear in this case.
Another method would be to use the concept of memoization. A temporary memory which is also called cache memory is used to store the pointer. Let's say when FixedAllocator::Deallocate(p) is passed, p is stored in cache memory. When an allocation is to done, FixedAllocator::Allocate() checks for this memory and if it is non-empty, it returns p to allocate. If it is empty, allocate member function allocates generally by passing the request to chunk.

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