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Design and specification of iterators using the swapping paradigm

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4 Author(s)
Weide, B.W. ; Dept. of Comput. & Inf. Sci., Ohio State Univ., Columbus, OH, USA ; Edwards, S.H. ; Harms, D.E. ; Lamb, D.A.

How should iterators be abstracted and encapsulated in modern imperative languages? We consider the combined impact of several factors on this question: the need for a common interface model for user defined iterator abstractions, the importance of formal methods in specifying such a model, and problems involved in modular correctness proofs of iterator implementations and clients. A series of iterator designs illustrates the advantages of the swapping paradigm over the traditional copying paradigm. Specifically, swapping based designs admit more efficient implementations while offering relatively straightforward formal specifications and the potential for modular reasoning about program behavior. The final proposed design schema is a common interface model for an iterator for any generic collection

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Software Engineering, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:20 ,  Issue: 8 )