Starting with Oracle10g cursors are marked for rolling invalidation instead of marked INVALID immediately. On the next execution of the query the Oracle server will generate a random number between 0 and the value of the _optimizer_invalidation_period parameter, which has a default value of 18000, and the cursor will remain valid for this number of seconds. Upon every following execution Oracle will check if this random selected timeout has expired. If that is the case then the cursor will be hard parsed again. Before demonstrating rolling cursor invalidation, we’ll lower the value of _optimizer_invalidation_period in order to avoid long waiting times.
Reference: Metalink note:557661.1