A stack overflow error occurs when a program runs out of memory space in its call stack. When this happens, it signals a problem with the resource provisioning and must be fixed before the program can continue running. It is different from a syntax error, which is usually caught by the compiler and other key points before the program goes into production. Stack overflow, however, occurs “in the mix” and is harder to detect.
The most common cause for this error is an infinite recursion in a program. For example, if the application calls method a from within a method, it may run out of space in the call stack. Other potential causes include a large number of local variables in the program’s code.
One way to resolve this error is to increase the stack size of your native threads. Increasing the thread stack size can help you identify the recursive native calls that are causing the problem. Another way to determine which specific methods are causing the problem is to analyze your system core files and thread dumps. This will help you determine the source of the stack overflow.
Some other causes of a stack overflow error include the following: floats that consume more memory than what can be stored on the stack. For example, an 8 byte double-precision float consumes 8 megabytes of memory, which is more than the stack can hold. Also, a declared array uses more memory than is available on the stack. In some cases, stack sizes are limited by thread creation parameters and operating system limits.
A stack is a group of stack frames that each thread has. A thread adds primitive data types, object pointers, and return values to the stack frame in the sequence of execution. In Java, this is commonly referred to as a stack. It is not uncommon for a thread to have multiple stack frames.
In the case of a stack trace, it is possible to identify a repeating pattern of line numbers that indicate recursion. If this is the case, the code owners must carefully examine the code to understand why the recursion never terminates. Stack overflow errors can result when recursive calls are made without a valid termination condition.