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On the problem of uniform references to data structures

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2 Author(s)
Geschke, C.M. ; Palo Alto Res. Center, Xerox Corp., Palo Alto, CA, USA ; Mitchell, J.G.

The cost of a change to a large software system is often primarily a function of the size of the system rather than the complexity of the change. One reason for this is that programs which access some given data structure must operate on it using notations which are determined by its exact representation. Thus, changing how it is implemented may necessitate changes to the programs which access it. This paper develops a programming language notation and semantic interpretations which allow a program to operate on a data object in a manner which is dependent only on its logical or abstract properties and independent of its underlying concrete representation.

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Software Engineering, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:SE-1 ,  Issue: 2 )