Custom Search

GLOSSARY: Abstraction

Abstraction relates to giving the overall idea rather than relating detail. An abstract of a scientific paper gives the 'big picture' view of the experiment rather than detailed results.

In computer programming, abstraction tries to minimise details available to the programmer so that s/he can focus on the concept idea related to design. It captures only those details that are relevant to the current perspective. It allows the programmer to forget how something is acheived - only to get the result.

A system can have several abstraction layers where the programmer can select to have different amounts of detail exposed. For example, low-level abstraction layers expose details of the hardware where the program is run, while high-level layers reveal the coding detail for the program.