Acta Informatica

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 27-52

First online:

The algebraic specification of abstract data types

  • J. V. GuttagAffiliated withComputer Science Department, University of Southern California
  • , J. J. HorningAffiliated withComputer Systems Research Group, University of Toronto

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There have been many recent proposals for embedding abstract data types in programming languages. In order to reason about programs using abstract data types, it is desirable to specify their properties at an abstract level, independent of any particular implementation. This paper presents an algebraic technique for such specifications, develops some of the formal properties of the technique, and shows that these provide useful guidelines for the construction of adequate specifications.