Advances in Computers, Vol. 33 by Marshall C. Yovits

By Marshall C. Yovits

This quantity in a chain detailing concepts in undefined, software program and the theory/design/applications of pcs, is worried with reusable software program parts, object-oriented modelling, discrete occasion simulation, and neurocomputing formalisms in desktop studying and visualization.

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It is not surprising that it is observed in current practice, though, because a typical reusable software component is based directly on the designs, data structures, and algorithms found in standard computer-science textbooks: classical stacks, lists, symbol tables, sorting algorithms, and so on. Difficulties arising from their potential reusability were not at issue in the original designs of these structures, and their performance as the basis for reusable components suffers as a result. Even in cases where an abstract design is a good one, there may be no efficient implementation currently on the market.

The ensures clause of Push now says nothing about the value of x upon return from the operation, so the implementer is free to return any value for that parameter. It is no longer necessary to copy an Item in order to implement Push. This 40 BRUCE W. WEIDE et a / . change leaves us with the following (final) redesign of the Stack-Template: concept Stack-Template context parameters type Item mathematics theory STRING-THEORY is STRING-THEORY-TEMPLATE (math [Item]) interface type Stack is modeled by STRING exemplar s initially s = EMPTY operation Push (s : Stack, x : Item) s = POST ( # s, # x) ensures operation Pop (s : Stack, x : Item) requires not (s = EMPTY) ensures # s = POST (s, x) operation Is-Empty (s : Stack) returns control ensures Is-Empty iff (s = EMPTY) end Stack-Template An interesting and obvious question is whether the redefined behavior of the Push operation is really what a client program might want.

An OBJ specification of an abstract component can be thought of as a set of equations that define a mathematical theory, or it can be treated as an executable program by interpreting the defining equations as rewrite rules. The performance of a concrete component that is constructed in this way may or may not be acceptable. We do not further consider this method of implementation because one of the basic features of a reusablesoftware-components industry will surely be a potential client’s freedom to choose among various concrete components that realize the same abstract component.

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