abstraction: A process (v. abstraction) that focuses upon the essential characteristics of an object (or function), relative to the perspective of the viewer; where the perspective is a given context that provides the viewer access to specific, essential details (characteristics or properties) of an object, while hiding non-essential details from the viewer. Abstraction enables reductionism. In program code, the process recognizes similarities between functional or characteristic streams, although the perspectives differ, allowing them to be combined. The process, along with abstraction and information hiding, reduces complexity.
See also: encapsulation, information hiding
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