Investigate memory in use

This article summarizes some techniques to investigate your application’s memory use.

Viewing total memory in use

The function MemInUse returns the amount of memory used by AIMMS in Mb. MemInUse calls a system function to find out how much memory is used by executing a procedure.

Getting an overview of memory used for identifiers

To view details about memory use, use the identifier cardinalities tool: #. Go to AIMMS Menu > Tools > Diagnostic tools. #. Tick both selection boxes at the bottom bar, and click the header Mem Usage to sort by that value.

This will give you an indication of the identifiers with most memory consumption.


Data cardinalities tool for the Gate Assignment problem in the AIMMS Examples repo.

Tips and tricks:

  • The open door tip is to reconsider whether you really need the identifiers in the top list. All too often, some of the identifiers in the top list were defined parameters, where this parameter is actually not used anymore in the application.

  • When these identifiers are about intermediate computations, use the Empty statement to return the occupied memory for re-use when their values are no longer of use.

  • A generic tip is to use minimal index domains, especially for identifiers that are used for intermediate computations. This includes variables and constraints, but it doesn’t include parameters for visualization or data exchange. Minimal index domains are constructed using the following two principles:

    • Use indices over subsets
    • Use tight index domain conditions

    More about this in AIMMS The language reference, see reference below.

Analyzing memory used for identifiers

Several functions can be used to check memory use for identifiers in your project.

  • Card() returns the number of elements, both active and inactive, for the identifier between the parentheses.
  • ActiveCard(), returns only the number of active elements for the identifier between the parentheses.
  • IdentifierMemory(), returns the memory in use for the identifier between the parentheses.

Tips and tricks:

In addition, to the tips and tricks mentioned in the previous section, note that the Rebuild statement allows to return the memory occupied by “permutations”.

Analyzing of memory used for GMPs

The function GMP::Instance::GetMemoryUsed returns the memory used by a generated mathematical program (GMP). As illustrated in the following code block, by visiting all elements in the set AllGeneratedMathematicalPRograms you’ll know how much memory AIMMS reserved for the GMPs.

Section Memory_In_Use_of_Mathematical_Programs {
    Parameter p_MemInUseMPs {
        IndexDomain: IndexGeneratedMathematicalPrograms;
    Parameter p_TotMemInUseMPs {
        Definition: sum( IndexGeneratedMathematicalPrograms, p_MemInUseMPs(IndexGeneratedMathematicalPrograms) );
    Procedure pr_OverviewMemoryInUseMathematicalPrograms {
        Body: {
            for IndexGeneratedMathematicalPrograms do
                p_MemInUseMPs(IndexGeneratedMathematicalPrograms) := gmp::Instance::GetMemoryUsed(IndexGeneratedMathematicalPrograms);
            endfor ;
            block where single_column_display := 1;
                display p_TotMemInUseMPs, p_MemInUseMPs;
            endblock ;
    Procedure pr_DeleteAllGeneratedMathematicalPrograms {
        Body: {
            while card( AllGeneratedMathematicalPrograms ) do
                gmp::Instance::Delete( first( AllGeneratedMathematicalPrograms ) );
            endwhile ;

Running the above procedure, will generate the following in the listing file for the Nest Solve example in the AIMMS Example library.

p_TotMemInUseMPs := 1.378 ;

p_MemInUseMPs := data
{ NetworkFlowModel     : 0.429,
  DicutSeparationModel : 0.949 } ;

Tips and tricks:

  • To reclaim the memory occupied by a GMP you can use the procedure gmp::Instance::Delete() as illustrated above by the procedur e pr_DeleteAllGeneratedMathematicalPrograms(). However, when the mathematical program will be solved again, then having the corresponding GMP already in memory may save significant time.
  • The general tip to reduce memory by working with minimal index domain also applies to the GMP’s generated; this will avoid superfluous rows and columns, thus saving memory and time to generate mathematical programs.
  • Often times there are many variables for which the solution is obvious; decision variables from the past, filled tanks cannot be filled further, built distribution centers need not be build again, and so on. You can model these variables by setting their nonvar attribute to 1. See also the option Eliminate novar columns

Minimizing memory used for element spaces

AIMMS maintains a mapping between elements(strings) and numbers per root set. This mapping is the element space. Because the element space of the set Integers is very small, as this is just an arithmetic operation without the need for additional memory. When your elements are integers, the corresponding set should be a subset of the set Integers.