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The initial starting point for the closure is computed by the STACK_ROOTS and ROOTS phases, which add root locations to a buffer by calling TraceLocal.reportDelayedRootEdge.  The closure operation proceeds by invoking traceObiect on each root location (in method processRootEdge), and then invoking scanObject on each heap object encountered.  Note that the CLOSURE operation is performed multiple times in each GC, due to to processing of reference types.