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A managed heap is a structure for handling address spaces created by processes at runtime. These address spaces, when handled in certain ways within an operating system, are called a managed heap. Microsoft’s .NET framework uses a managed heap model as part of its automatic memory management process.
The managed heap is contrasted with an unmanaged heap, where developers may need to personally assign memory and otherwise handle address spaces. In a managed heap, other parts of automatic memory management include a specific algorithm where a garbage collector will assess parts of the address space to determine what parts are being used and what parts can be released and re-allocated.