In software engineering and computer science, abstraction is a technique for arranging complexity of computer systems. It works by establishing a level of complexity on which a person interacts with the system, suppressing the more complex details below the current level.
Identifying examples of abstraction
Anytime you see a simple interface covering a more complex system, you should think "abstraction".
- A car is a very complex machine but the interface is simple (a steering wheel, a gas pedal and a gear shift)
- A video game controller only has a few buttons, but underneath the controller is complex control mechanism
- A programming language can be fairly simple, but it translates the instructions you write into machine code, which is impossibly complex
ExplainGive a detailed account including reasons or causes. why abstraction is required
You must decide at what level should I abstract a problem and solution. Abstraction is required because life is complex. We need to simplify complex systems so people can understand and use them.
For example, a student is building a software program to help students pick the right college. The student uses SAT scores to determineObtain the only possible answer. a good match. The student has abstracted complexity when it comes to choosing a college. There are actually many factors in choosing a college, but the student has chosen to focus on SAT scores.
ConstructDevelop information in a diagrammatic or logical form. an abstraction
I want to launch a missile, loaded with 10,000 liters of peanut butter, at my friend because it would be funny. There are hundreds of important variables associated with launching, flying, and hitting a target in this example. Please think for a moment how we could constructDevelop information in a diagrammatic or logical form. an abstraction.
We could create a giant red button with the words "launch peanut butter missile at friend" which would launch the missile. However once this button was pushed a VERY COMPLEX process would begin to launch the missile. In this example, the button is an abstraction of a missile launch.
DistinguishMake clear the differences between two or more concepts or items. between a real-world entity and its abstraction
Please refer to the missile example above.
These standards are used from the IB Computer Science Subject Guide
- IdentifyProvide an answer from a number of possibilities. Recognize and state briefly a distinguishing fact or feature. examples of abstraction
- ExplainGive a detailed account including reasons or causes. why abstraction is required in the derivation of computational solutions for a specified situation
- ConstructDevelop information in a diagrammatic or logical form. an abstraction from a specified situation
- DistinguishMake clear the differences between two or more concepts or items. between a real-world entity and its abstraction
- IB Diploma Programme Computer science guide (first examinations 2014). Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom: International Baccalaureate Organization. January 2012.