SWI-Prolog has a number of memory areas which are only enlarged to a certain limit. The internal data representation limits the local, global and trail stack to 128 MB on 32-bit processors, or more generally to 2 ** bits-per-pointer - 5 bytes. Considering that almost all modern hardware can deal with this amount of memory with ease, the default limits are set to their maximum on 32-bit hardware. The representation limits can easily exceed physical memory on 64-bit hardware. The default limits on 64-bit hardware are double that of 32-bit hardware, which allows for storing the same amount of (Prolog) data.
The limits can be changed from the command line as well as at runtime
The table below shows these areas. The first column gives the option
name to modify the size of the area. The option character is immediately
followed by a number and optionally by a
k or no unit
indicator, the value is interpreted in Kbytes (1024 bytes); with
the value is interpreted in Mbytes (1024 × 1024 bytes).
The PrologScript facility described in section
18.104.22.168 provides a mechanism for specifying options with the load
file. On Windows the default stack sizes are controlled using the
Windows registry on the key
using the names
The value is a
DWORD expressing the default stack size in
Kbytes. A GUI for modifying these values is provided using the XPCE
package. To use this, start the XPCE manual tools using manpce/0,
after which you find Preferences in the File menu.
Considering portability, applications that need to modify the default limits are advised to do so using set_prolog_stack/2.
|-L||128M||local stack||The local stack is used to store the execution environments of procedure invocations. The space for an environment is reclaimed when it fails, exits without leaving choice points, the alternatives are cut off with the !/0 predicate or no choice points have been created since the invocation and the last subclause is started (last call optimisation).|
|-G||128M||global stack||The global stack is used to store terms created during Prolog's execution. Terms on this stack will be reclaimed by backtracking to a point before the term was created or by garbage collection (provided the term is no longer referenced).|
|-T||128M||trail stack||The trail stack is used to store assignments during execution. Entries on this stack remain alive until backtracking before the point of creation or the garbage collector determines they are no longer needed.|
|-A||1M||argument stack||The argument stack is used to store one of the Virtual Machine's registers. The amount of space needed on this stack is determined entirely by the depth in which terms are nested in the clauses that constitute the program. Overflow is unlikely.|
|Table 2 : Memory areas|
With the heap, we refer to the memory area used by malloc() and friends. SWI-Prolog uses the area to store atoms, functors, predicates and their clauses, records and other dynamic data. No limits are imposed on the addresses returned by malloc() and friends.