Abstract Data Types Algorithms

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Abstract Data Types — CS3 Data Structures & Algorithms

A data item is a piece of information or a record whose value is drawn from a type. A data item is said to be a member of a type. A data type is a type together with a collection of operations to manipulate the type.

Steven J. Zeil

An abstract data type or ADT (sometimes called an abstract data type) is a mathematical model of a data structure. It describes a container which holds a finite. Abstract Data type (ADT) is a type (or class) for objects whose behaviour is It does not specify how data will be organized in memory and what algorithms will.

For example, an integer variable is a member of the integer data type. Addition is an example of an operation on the integer data type. A distinction should be made between the logical concept of a data type and its physical implementation in a computer program. For example, there are two traditional implementations for the list data type: the linked list and the array-based list. The list data type can therefore be implemented using a linked list or an array.

But we don't need to know how the list is implemented when we wish to use a list to help in a more complex design. For example, a list might be used to help implement a graph data structure.

As another example, the term "array" could refer either to a data type or an implementation. By this meaning, an array is a physical data structure. However, array can also mean a logical data type composed of a typically homogeneous collection of data items, with each data item identified by an index number. It is possible to implement arrays in many different ways besides as a block of contiguous memory locations.

The sparse matrix refers to a large, two-dimensional array that stores only a relatively few non-zero values. This is often implemented with a linked structure, or possibly using a hash table. But it could be implemented with an interface that uses traditional row and column indices, thus appearing to the user in the same way that it would if it had been implemented as a block of contiguous memory locations. An abstract data type ADT is the specification of a data type within some language, independent of an implementation.

The interface for the ADT is defined in terms of a type and a set of operations on that type. The behavior of each operation is determined by its inputs and outputs. An ADT does not specify how the data type is implemented. These implementation details are hidden from the user of the ADT and protected from outside access, a concept referred to as encapsulation.

A data structure is the implementation for an ADT. In an object-oriented language, an ADT and its implementation together make up a class. Each operation associated with the ADT is implemented by a member function or method. The variables that define the space required by a data item are referred to as data members. An object is an instance of a class, that is, something that is created and takes up storage during the execution of a computer program.

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The term data structure often refers to data stored in a computer's main memory. The related term file structure often refers to the organization of data on peripheral storage, such as a disk drive or CD. The mathematical concept of an integer, along with operations that manipulate integers, form a data type. The int variable type is a physical representation of the abstract integer.

The int variable type, along with the operations that act on an int variable, form an ADT. Unfortunately, the int implementation is not completely true to the abstract integer, as there are limitations on the range of values an int variable can store.

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If these limitations prove unacceptable, then some other representation for the ADT "integer" must be devised, and a new implementation must be used for the associated operations. From this description, the input and output of each operation should be clear, but the implementation for lists has not been specified. One application that makes use of some ADT might use particular member functions of that ADT more than a second application, or the two applications might have different time requirements for the various operations.

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These differences in the requirements of applications are the reason why a given ADT might be supported by more than one implementation. Modern programming languages incorporate this concept into their design to attempt to provide adequate facilities for the separation of specification from implementations.

Abstract Data Types and Algorithms

For example, Ada allows specification eg. The implementation bundles together a storage representation and the operations of the abstract data type ADT. The specification can be viewed as an ADT which defines an object and a set of operations on it. There is usually a one-to-one correspondence between the specification and implementation.

In certain applications it is useful to choose the representation and algorithms. This paper presents the idea of providing such a facility in the context of abstract data types. The API should be designed first! The concept of an ADT is another powerful software engineering concept.

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Lets create an ADT for a student in a student information system. We need to model a student, but only the parts we need for our application. So, a student might be a:. The question, and one of the goals of this class, is to determine which one should be used for a given situation. An array structure and a node structure linked list. Each have different performance characteristics.

Data Structures - Abstract Data Types - The List

How does a list grow? How does a vector grow? Every time you enter a new scope, all local variables and some scope info are pushed to the stack. So, with this information, we can create a buffer overflow! An ADT organized as a list in which insertions occur at one end and deletions occur at the other. Queues and stacks are super useful as constructs to prove an algorithm runs in a certain amount of time big-O. If you can prove that all items are put into a queue or stack exactly once, the running time of the algorithm is the running time of the push and pop operations!