Periodically detect reference cycles. My Little Possum Friendship is Garbage shirt Deallocating when the reference count falls to 0 doesn’t work for all cases. Consider two objects A and B, where A holds a reference to B and B holds a reference to A. This is called a reference cycle. It could be the case that these are no longer live and so that both A and B should be garbage collected. However, the reference count on both objects is not zero, so they remain alive. To get around this, CPython uses an algorithm for detecting reference cycles and deallocating objects in the cycle. Performance is enhanced with heuristics. Objects that have been created recently are more likely to need to be garbage collected.
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CPython introduces the concept My Little Possum Friendship is Garbage shirt of a generation to account for the relative age of an object. Younger generations have objects that have more recently been created and older generations hold objects that are less recent. Each object belongs to exactly one generation. When garbage collection is performed, CPython tries to garbage collect younger generations. Periodically, CPython will perform garbage collection on older generations (the rate at which this happens is determined by a heuristic).