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

Continue Reading About abstraction

Join the conversation

3 comments

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

You made it very clear with nice little example..thanks a lot!!!
Cancel
VERY NICE bro
Cancel
Abstract is basically giving only relevant information that solves a purpose or does the job. In programming, it is drilling down to find a specific result. I do enjoy this website of IT and Engineering terms. Thank you 

Cancel

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

SearchCompliance

  • compliance audit

    A compliance audit is a comprehensive review of an organization's adherence to regulatory guidelines.

  • regulatory compliance

    Regulatory compliance is an organization's adherence to laws, regulations, guidelines and specifications relevant to its business...

  • Whistleblower Protection Act

    The Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 is a law that protects federal government employees in the United States from ...

SearchSecurity

  • Transport Layer Security (TLS)

    Transport Layer Security (TLS) is a protocol that provides authentication, privacy, and data integrity between two communicating ...

  • van Eck phreaking

    Van Eck phreaking is a form of electronic eavesdropping that reverse engineers the electromagnetic fields (EM fields) produced by...

  • zero-trust model (zero trust network)

    The zero trust model is a security model used by IT professionals that requires strict identity and device verification ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • cloud insurance

    Cloud insurance is any type of financial or data protection obtained by a cloud service provider. 

  • business continuity software

    Business continuity software is an application or suite designed to make business continuity planning/business continuity ...

  • business continuity policy

    Business continuity policy is the set of standards and guidelines an organization enforces to ensure resilience and proper risk ...

SearchStorage

  • solid-state storage

    Solid-state storage (SSS) is a type of computer storage media made from silicon microchips. SSS stores data electronically ...

  • persistent storage

    Persistent storage is any data storage device that retains data after power to that device is shut off. It is also sometimes ...

  • computational storage

    Computational storage is an information technology (IT) architecture in which data is processed at the storage device level to ...

Close