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Specification and Implementation of Abstract Data Types. Data Abstraction. Clients Interested in WHAT services a module provides, not HOW they are carried out. So, ignore details irrelevant to the overall behavior, for clarity. Implementors

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Data abstraction l.jpg
Data Abstraction

  • Clients

    • Interestedin WHAT services a module provides, not HOW they are carried out. So, ignore details irrelevant to the overall behavior, for clarity.

  • Implementors

    • Reserve the right to change the code, to improve performance. So, ensure that clients do not make unwarranted assumptions.


Specification of data types l.jpg
Specification of Data Types

Type : Values + Operations



Signature of Ops Meaning of Ops


Description in terms of Give axioms satisfied

standard “primitive” data types by the operations


Syntax of lisp s expr l.jpg
Syntax of LISP S-expr

  • operations: nil, cons, car, cdr, null

  • signatures:

    nil: S-expr

    cons: S-expr*S-expr-> S-expr

    car: S-expr-> S-expr

    cdr: S-expr-> S-expr

    null: S-expr-> boolean

    for every atoma:

    a : S-expr


Slide5 l.jpg


Semantics of what to expect l.jpg
Semantics of +: operations.What to expect?

+ : NxN->N

1 + 2 = 3

zero + succ(succ(zero)) = succ(succ(zero))

x + 0 = x

2 * (3 + 4) = 2 * 7 = 14 = 6 + 8

x * ( y + z) = y * x + x * z


Semantics of s expr what to expect l.jpg
Semantics of operations.S-Expr : What to expect?

null(nil) = true

car(cons(nil,nil)) = nil

null(cdr(cons(nil,cons(nil,nil)))) = false

  • for all E,F in S-Expr

    car(cons(E,F)) = E

    null(cons(E,F)) = false


Formal spec of adts l.jpg
Formal Spec. of ADTs operations.

Characteristics of an “Adequate” Specification

  • Completeness (No “undefinedness”)

  • Consistency/Soundness (No conflicting definitions)

    • Minimality


      Learn to write sound and complete algebraic(axiomatic) specifications of ADTs


Classification of operations l.jpg
Classification of Operations operations.

  • Observers

    • generate a value outside the type

      • E.g., null in ADTS-expr

  • Constructors

    • required for representing values in the type

      • E.g., nil, cons, atoms a in ADTS-expr

  • Non-constructors

    • remaining operations

      • E.g., car, cdr in ADTS-expr


S expr in lisp l.jpg
S-Expr operations.in LISP

a : S-Expr

nil : S-Expr

cons : S-Expr x S-Expr -> S-Expr

car : S-Expr -> S-Expr

cdr : S-Expr -> S-Expr

null : S-Expr -> boolean

Observers : null

Constructors : a,nil, cons

Non-constructors : car, cdr


Algebraic spec l.jpg
Algebraic Spec operations.

  • Write axioms (equations) that characterize the meaning of all the operations.

  • Describe the meaning of the observers and the non-constructors on all possible constructor patterns.

  • Note the use of typed variables to abbreviate the definition. (“Finite Spec.”)


Slide12 l.jpg

  • for all S, T in operations.S-expr

    cdr(nil) = ?error? cdr(a) = ?error? cdr(cons(S,T)) = T

    car(nil) = ?error? car(a) = ?error? car(cons(S,T)) = S

    null(nil) = true null(a) = false

    null(cons(S,T)) = false

  • Omitting the equation for “nil” implies that implementations that differ in the interpretation of “nil” are all equally acceptable.


S expr s l.jpg
S-Expr operations.s

  • car(a)

  • cons(a,nil)

  • car(cons(a,nil)) =

  • a

  • cons( car(cons(a,nil)), cdr(cons(a,a)) ) =

  • cons( a , a )


Motivation for classification minimality l.jpg
Motivation for Classification : operations.Minimality

  • If car and cdr are also regarded as constructors (as they generate values in the type), then the spec. must consider other cases to guarantee completeness (or provide sufficient justification for their omission).

  • for all S in S-expr:

    null(car(S)) = ...

    null(cdr(S)) = ...


Adt table symbol table directory l.jpg
ADT Table ( operations.symbol table/directory)

empty : Table

update : Key x Info x Table ->Table

lookUp: Key x Table -> Info

lookUp(K,empty) = error

lookUp(K,update(Ki, I, T)) =

if K = Ki then I else lookUp(K,T)

(“last update overrides the others”)


Table s l.jpg
Table operations.s

  • empty

  • update(5, “abc”, empty)

  • update(10, “xyz”, update(5, “abc”, empty))

  • update(5, “xyz”, update(5, “abc”, empty))


  • lookup (5,update(5, “xyz”, update(5, “abc”, empty)) )

  • lookup (5,update(5, “xyz”, update(5, “xyz”, empty)) )

  • lookup (5,update(5, “xyz”, empty) )

  • “xyz”


Implementations l.jpg
Implementations operations.

  • Array-based

  • Linear List - based

  • Tree - based

    • Binary Search Trees, AVL Trees, B-Trees etc

  • Hash Table - based

  • These exhibit a common Table behavior, but differ in performance aspects (search time).

  • Correctness of a program is assured even when the implementation is changed as long as the spec is satisfied.

  • L34ADT

    Cont d l.jpg
    (cont’d) operations.

    • Accounts for various other differences (Data Invariants) in implementation such as

      • Eliminating duplicates.

      • Retaining only the final binding.

      • Maintaining the records sorted on the key.

      • Maintaining the records sorted in terms of the frequency of use (a la caching).


    A list in lisp l.jpg
    A-list operations.in LISP

    a : A

    nil : A-list

    cons : A x A-list -> A-list

    car : A-list -> A

    cdr : A-list -> A-list

    null : A-list -> boolean

    • Observers : null, car

    • Constructors : nil, cons

    • Non-constructors : cdr


    Slide20 l.jpg

    • for all L in operations.A-list

      cdr(cons(a,L)) = L

      car(cons(a,L)) = a

      null(nil) = true

      null(cons(a,L)) = false

    • Consciously silent about nil-list.


    Natural numbers l.jpg
    Natural Numbers operations.

    zero : N

    succ : N-> N

    add : NxN-> N

    iszero : N->boolean

    observers : iszero

    constructors : zero, succ

    non-constructors : add

    Each number has a unique representation in terms of its constructors.


    Slide22 l.jpg

    for all I,J in operations.N

    add(I,J) = ?

    add(zero,I) = I

    add(succ(J), I) = succ(add(J,I))

    iszero(I) = ?

    iszero(zero) = true

    iszero(succ(I)) = false


    Cont d23 l.jpg
    (cont’d) operations.

    add(succ(succ(zero)), succ(zero))

    = succ(succ(succ(zero)))

    • The first rule eliminates add from an expression, while the second rule simplifies the first argument to add.

    • Associativity, commutativity, and identity properties of add can be deduced from this definition through purely mechanical means.


    A list revisted l.jpg
    A-list operations. Revisted

    a : A

    nil : A-list

    list : A -> A-list

    append : A-list x A-list -> A-list

    null : A-list -> boolean

    • values

      • nil, list(a), append(nil, list(a)), ...


    Algebraic spec25 l.jpg
    Algebraic Spec operations.

    • constructors

      • nil, list, append

    • observer

      isnull(nil) = true

      isnull(list(a)) = false

      isnull(append(L1,L2)) =

      isnull(L1) /\ isnull(L2)


    Slide26 l.jpg

    • Problem operations. : Same value has multiple representation in terms of constructors.

    • Solution : Add axioms for constructors.

      • Identity Rule

        append(L,nil) = L

        append(nil,L) = L

      • Associativity Rule



        append(L1, append(L2,L3))


    Intuitive understanding of constructors l.jpg
    Intuitive understanding of constructors operations.

    • The constructor patterns correspond to distinct memory/data patterns required to store/represent values in the type.

    • The constructor axioms can be viewed operationally as rewrite rules to simplify constructor patterns. Specifically, constructor axioms correspond to computations necessary for equality checking and aid in defining a normal form.

      • Cf. ==vsequal in Java


    Writing adt specs l.jpg
    Writing ADT Specs operations.

    • Idea: Specify “sufficient” axioms such that syntactically distinct terms (patterns) that denote the same value can be proven so.

      • Completeness

        • Define non-constructors and observers on all possible constructor patterns

      • Consistency

        • Check for conflicting reductions

    • Note: A term essentially records the detailed historyofconstruction of the value.


    General strategy for adt specs l.jpg
    General Strategy for ADT Specs operations.

    • Syntax

      • Specify signatures and classify operations.

    • Constructors

      • Write axioms to ensure that two constructor terms that represent the same value can be proven so.

        • E.g., identity, associativity, commutativity rules.


    Slide30 l.jpg

    • Non-constructors operations.

      • Provide axioms to collapse a non-constructor term into a term involving only constructors.

    • Observers

      • Define the meaning of an observer on all constructor terms, checking for consistency.

        Implementation of a type

        An interpretation of the operations of the ADT that satisfies all the axioms.


    Declarative specification l.jpg
    Declarative Specification operations.

    • Let *: N x N -> N denote integer multiplication.

      Equation: n * n = n

      Solution: n = 0 \/ n = 1.

    • Let f: N x N -> N denote a binary integer function.

      Equation: 0 f 0 = 0

      Solution: f = “multiplication” \/

      f = “addition” \/ f = “subtraction” \/ ...


    Delete set l.jpg
    delete operations. : Set

    • for all n, m inN, s inSet

      delete(n,empty) = empty

      delete(n,insert(m,s)) =

      if (n=m)

      then delete(n,s) (invalid: s)

      else insert(m,delete(n,s))

      delete(5, insert(5,insert(5,empty)) ) {5,5}

      == empty {}

      =/= insert(5,empty)





    Delete list l.jpg
    delete operations. : List

    • Previous axioms capture “remove all occurrences” semantics.

    • For “remove last occurrence” semantics:

      for all n, m inN, s inList

      delete(n,empty) = empty

      delete(n,insert(m,s)) =

      if (n=m) then s

      else insert(m,delete(n,s))

      delete(5, insert(5,insert(5,empty)) ) [5,5]

      == insert(5,empty) [5]


    Delete list34 l.jpg
    delete operations. : List

    • Previous axioms capture “remove all / last occurrences” semantics.

    • For “remove first occurrence” semantics:

      for all n, m inN, s inList

      delete(n,empty) = empty

      delete(n,insert(m,s)) =

      if (n=m) andnot (n in s) then s

      else insert(m,delete(n,s))

      delete(1, insert(1,insert(2,insert(1,insert(5,empty)))) ) [5,1,2,1]

      == insert(1,insert(2,insert(5,empty)))[5,2,1]


    Size list vs set l.jpg
    size operations.: List vs Set

    • size(insert(m,l)) = 1 + size(l)

      • E.g., size([2,2,2]) = 1 + size([2,2])

    • size(insert(m,s)) =

      if (m ins) then size(s)

      else 1 + size(s)

      • E.g., size({2,2,2}) = size({2,2})

        = size ({2}) = 1


    Model based vs algebraic l.jpg
    Model-based operations.vs Algebraic

    • A model-based specification of a type satisfies the corresponding axiomatic specification. Hence, algebraic spec. is “more abstract” than the model-based spec.

    • Algebraic spec captures the least common-denominator (behavior) of all possible implementations.


    Axiomatization algebraic structures l.jpg
    Axiomatization: operations.Algebraic Structures

    • A set G with operation * forms a group if

      • Closure: a,b eG implies a*b eG.

      • Associativity: a,b,c eG implies a*(b *c) = (a*b)*c.

      • Identity: There exists i eG such that

        i*a = a*i = a for all a eG.

      • Inverses: For every a eG there exists an element

        ~a eG such that a * ~a = ~a * a = i.

  • Examples:

    • (Integers, +), but not (N, +)

    • (Reals - {0}, *), but not (Integers, *)

    • (Permutation functions, Function composition)

  • L34ADT

    Example l.jpg
    Example operations.

    car( cons( X, Y) ) = X

    cdr( cons (X, Y) ) = Y

    (define (cons x y)

    (lambda (m)

    (cond ((eq? m ’first) x)

    (eq? m ’second) y)


    )) ; “closure”

    (define (car z) (z ’first))

    (define (cdr z) (z ’second))


    Applications of adt spec l.jpg
    Applications of ADT spec operations.

    • Least common denominator of all possible implementations.

      • Focus on the essential behavior.

        • An implementation is a refinement of ADT spec.

      • IMPL. = Behavior SPEC + Rep “impurities”

      • To prove equivalence of two implementations, show that they satisfy the same spec.

      • In the context of OOP, a class implements an ADT, and the spec. is a class invariant.


    Cont d40 l.jpg
    (Cont’d) operations.

    • Indirectly, ADT spec. gives us the ability to vary or substitute an implementation.

      • E.g., In the context of interpreter/compiler, a function definition and the corresponding calls (ADT FuncValues) together must achieve a fixed goal. However, there is freedom in the precise apportioning of workload between the two separate tasks:

        • How to represent the function?

        • How to carry out the call?


    Cont d41 l.jpg
    (Cont’d) operations.

    • ADT spec. are absolutely necessary to automate formal reasoning about programs. Theorem provers such as Boyer-Moore prover (NQTHM), LARCH, PVS, HOL, etc routinely use such axiomatization of types.

    • Provides a theory of equivalence of values that enables design of a suitable canonical form.

      • Identity-> delete

      • Associativity-> remove parenthesis

      • Commutativity-> sort


    Spec vs impl l.jpg
    Spec vs Impl operations.

    The reason to focus on the behavioral aspects, ignoring

    efficiency details initially, is that the notion of a “best implementation” requires application specific issues and trade-offs. In other words, the distribution of work among

    the various operations is based on a chosen representation,

    which in turn, is dictated by the pragmatics of an application. However, in each potential implementation, there is always some operations that will be efficient while others will pay the price for this comfort.


    Ordered integer lists l.jpg
    Ordered Integer Lists operations.

    null : oil->boolean

    nil : oil

    hd : oil->int

    tl : oil->oil

    ins : int x oil->oil

    order : int_list->oil

    Constructors: nil, ins

    Non-constructors: tl, order

    Observers: null, hd


    Slide44 l.jpg

    • Problem operations.:

      • syntactically different, but semantically equivalent constructor terms

        ins(2,ins(5,nil)) = ins(5,ins(2,nil))

        ins(2,ins(2,nil)) = ins(2,nil)

      • hd should return the smallest element.

        • It is not the case that for all I in int, L in oil,

          hd(ins(I,L)) = I.

        • This holds iff I is the minimum in ins(I,L).

      • Similarly for tl.


    Axioms for constructors l.jpg
    Axioms for Constructors operations.

    • Idempotence

      • for all ordered integer lists L; for all I in int

        ins(I, ins(I,L)) = ins(I,L)

    • Commutativity

      • for all ordered integer lists L; for all I, J in int

        ins(I, ins(J,L)) = ins(J, ins(I,L))

        Completeness : Any permutation can be generated by exchanging adjacent elements.


    Axioms for non constructors l.jpg
    Axioms for Non-constructors operations.

    tl(nil) = error

    tl(ins(I,L)) = ?

    tl(ins(I,nil)) = nil

    tl(ins(I,ins(J,L))) =

    I < J => ins( J, tl(ins(I,L)) )

    I > J => ins( I, tl(ins(J,L)) )

    I = J => tl( ins( I,L ) )

    (cf. constructor axioms for duplicate elimination)

    order(nil) = nil

    order(cons(I,L)) = ins(I,order(L))


    Axioms for observers l.jpg
    Axioms for Observers operations.

    hd(nil) = error

    hd(ins(I,nil)) = I

    hd(ins(I,ins(J,L))) =

    I < J => hd( ins(I,L) )

    I > J => hd( ins(J,L) )

    I = J => hd( ins(I,L) )

    null(nil) = true

    null(ins(I,L)) = false


    Scheme implementation l.jpg
    Scheme Implementation operations.

    (define nullnull?)

    (define nil’())

    (define inscons)

    (define (hd ol) *min* )

    (define (tl ol) *list sans min* )

    (define (order lis) *sorted list* )


    Possible implementations l.jpg
    Possible Implementations operations.

    • Representation Choice 1:

      • List of integers with duplicates

        • ins is cons but hd and tl require linear-time search

    • Representation Choice 2:

      • Sorted list of integers without duplicates

        • ins requires search but hd and tl can be made more efficient

    • Representation Choice 3:

      • Balanced-tree : Heap