Browse Definitions:
Definition

abstraction

Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore

Abstraction (from the Latin abs, meaning away from and trahere, meaning to draw) is the process of taking away or removing characteristics from something in order to reduce it to a set of essential characteristics. In object-oriented programming, abstraction is one of three central principles (along with encapsulation and inheritance). Through the process of abstraction, a programmer hides all but the relevant data about an object in order to reduce complexity and increase efficiency. In the same way that abstraction sometimes works in art, the object that remains is a representation of the original, with unwanted detail omitted. The resulting object itself can be referred to as an abstraction, meaning a named entity made up of selected attributes and behavior specific to a particular usage of the originating entity. Abstraction is related to both encapsulation and data hiding.

In the process of abstraction, the programmer tries to ensure that the entity is named in a manner that will make sense and that it will have all the relevant aspects included and none of the extraneous ones. A real-world analogy of abstraction might work like this: You (the object) are arranging to meet a blind date and are deciding what to tell them so that they can recognize you in the restaurant. You decide to include the information about where you will be located, your height, hair color, and the color of your jacket. This is all data that will help the procedure (your date finding you) work smoothly. You should include all that information. On the other hand, there are a lot of bits of information about you that aren't relevant to this situation: your social security number, your admiration for obscure films, and what you took to "show and tell" in fifth grade are all irrelevant to this particular situation because they won't help your date find you. However, since entities may have any number of abstractions, you may get to use them in another procedure in the future.

This was last updated in June 2014 ???publishDate.suggestedBy???

Continue Reading About abstraction

Join the conversation

2 comments

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

You made it very clear with nice little example..thanks a lot!!!
Cancel
VERY NICE bro
Cancel

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

SearchCompliance

  • risk map (risk heat map)

    A risk map, also known as a risk heat map, is a data visualization tool for communicating specific risks an organization faces. A...

  • internal audit (IA)

    An internal audit (IA) is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine ...

  • pure risk (absolute risk)

    Pure risk, also called absolute risk, is a category of threat that is beyond human control and has only one possible outcome if ...

SearchCloudProvider

  • cloud ecosystem

    A cloud ecosystem is a complex system of interdependent components that all work together to enable cloud services.

  • cloud services

    Cloud services is an umbrella term that may refer to a variety of resources provided over the internet, or to professional ...

  • uncloud (de-cloud)

    The term uncloud describes the action or process of removing applications and data from a cloud computing platform.

SearchSecurity

  • cyberextortion

    Cyberextortion is a crime involving an attack or threat of an attack coupled with a demand for money or some other response in ...

  • Cybercrime

    Cybercrime is any criminal activity that involves a computer, networked device or a network.

  • National Security Agency (NSA)

    The National Security Agency is the official U.S. cryptologic organization of the United States Intelligence Community under the ...

SearchHealthIT

  • Practice Fusion

    Practice Fusion Inc. is a San Francisco-based company that developed a free electronic health record (EHR) system available to ...

  • RHIA (Registered Health Information Administrator)

    An RHIA, or registered health information administrator, is a certified professional who oversees the creation and use of patient...

  • 21st Century Cures Act

    The 21st Century Cures Act is a wide-ranging healthcare bill that funds medical research and development, medical device ...

SearchDisasterRecovery

SearchStorage

  • Random Access Memory (RAM)

    Random Access Memory (RAM) is the hardware in a computing device where the operating system (OS), application programs and data ...

  • floating gate transistor (FGT)

    A floating gate transistor (FGT) is a complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) technology capable of holding an electrical ...

  • bad block

    A bad block is an area of storage media that is no longer reliable for storing and retrieving data because it has been physically...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • hybrid hard disk drive (HDD)

    A hybrid hard disk drive is an electromechanical spinning hard disk that contains some amount of NAND Flash memory.

Close