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abstract data type (ADT)

An abstract data type is the description of a data type by a summary of value ranges and applicable operations. Only syntactic and semantic properties, the signature and algebra of an abstract data type, are defined.

The internal data structure and the implementation of the operations are abstracted, so that several implementations are possible for an abstract data type, but all must satisfy the signature and algebra. In object-oriented languages, abstract data types can be described by classes, but usually only taking into account syntactic properties, such as uniqueness of identifiers and definition of the types of attributes and arguments of the methods.

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Englisch: abstract data type - ADT
Updated at: 23.11.2009
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