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How to Think About Algorithms by Jeff Edmonds

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3 Abstract Data Types

Abstract data types (ADTs) provide both a language for talking about and tools for operating on complex data structures. Each is defined by the types of objects that it can store and the operations that can be performed. Unlike a function that takes an input and produces an output, an ADT is more dynamic, periodically receiving information and commands to which it must react in a way that reflects its history. In an object-oriented language, these are implemented with objects, each of which has its own internal variables and operations. A user of an ADT has no access to its internal structure except through the operations provided. This is referred to as information hiding and provides a clean boundary between the user and ...

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