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Glossary

A

abstract data type
a data type whose properties (domain and operations) are specified independently of any particular implementation; a class of data objects with a defined set of properties and a set of operations that process the data objects while maintaining the properties
abstract step
an algorithmic step for which some implementation details remain unspecified
abstraction
a model of a complex system that includes only the details essential to the perspective of the viewer of the system; the separation of the logical properties of data or actions from their implementation details
abstraction (in OOD)
the essential characteristics of an object from the viewpoint of the user
acceptance test
the process of testing the system in its real environment with real data
activation record (stack frame)
a record used at run time to store information about a function call, including the parameters, local variables, register values, and return address
actual parameter
a variable, constant, or expression listed in the call to a function or procedure
adjacency list
a linked list that identifies all the vertices to which a particular vertex is connected; each vertex has its own adjacency list
adjacency matrix
for a graph with N nodes, an N × N table that shows the existence (and weights) of all edges in the graph
adjacent nodes
two nodes in a graph that are connected by an edge
aggregate operation
an operation on a data structure as a whole, as opposed to an operation on an individual component of the data structure
algorithm
a logical sequence of discrete steps that describes a complete solution to a given problem, computable in a finite amount of time; a step-by-step procedure for solving a problem in a finite amount of time; a verbal or written description of a logical sequence of actions
ALU

See arithmetic/logic unit (ALU).

anonymous type
a user-defined type that does not have an identifier (a name) associated with it
arithmetic/logic unit (ALU)
the component of the central processing unit that performs arithmetic and logical operations
array data type
a collection of components, all of the same type, ordered on N dimensions (N >= 1); each component is accessed by N indexes, each of which represents the component's position within that dimension
assembler
a program that translates an assembly language program into machine code
assembly language
a low-level programming language in which a mnemonic represents each of the machine language instructions for a particular computer
assertion
a logical proposition that is either true or false
assignment expression
a C++ expression with a value and the side effect of storing the expression value into a memory location
assignment statement
a statement that stores the value of an expression into a variable
atomic data type
a data type that allows only a single value to be associated with an identifier of that type
automatic variable
a variable for which memory is allocated and deallocated when control enters and exits the block in which it is declared
auxiliary storage device
a device that stores data in encoded form outside the computer's memory


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