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I understand that LUA uses a mark-and-sweep GC algorithm. How
predictable is its behavior? What triggers it?

I'm interested in the possibility of using LUA in semi real-time
applications. This is not hard real time, but I can not tolerate the GC
stepping in a couple of seconds once in a while.

How can the GC behavior be controlled? Is there any way by which
possible "random" GC hits can be avoided?