Abstractness, Specificity, and Complexity in Software Design

, und . Proceedings of the 2Nd International Workshop on The Role of Abstraction in Software Engineering, Seite 35--42. New York, NY, USA, ACM, (2008)


Abstraction is one of the fundamental concepts of software design. Consequently, the determination of an appropriate abstraction level for the multitude of artefacts that form a software system is an integral part of software engineering. However, the very nature of abstraction in software design and particularly its interrelation with equally important concepts like complexity, specificity or genericity are not fully understood today. As a step towards a better understanding of the trade-offs involved, this paper proposes a distinction of abstraction into two types that have different effects on the specificity and the complexity of artefacts. We discuss the roles of the two types of abstraction in software design and explain the interrelations between abstractness, specificity, and complexity. Furthermore, we illustrate the benefit of the proposed distinction with multiple examples and describe consequences of our findings for software design activities.


Abstractness, specificity, and complexity in software design

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