Abstract object types: A temporal perspective

A. Sernadas, J. Fiadeiro, C. Sernadas, H. D. Ehrich

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

18 Citations (Scopus)


The notion of abstract object type (AOT) tends to overlay the already classical concept of abstract data type (ADT) in several fields of application. Objects, although much more complex than data, have the advantage of dealing with states and processes. For that reason, they become useful, for instance, in the design of database applications and in software engineering. The difficulty lies in finding a suitable formalism for the abstract definition of objects, at least as effective as the equational formalism has been in the definition of abstract data types. The purpose of this paper is to present and discuss the main features of such a formalism. Concepts, tools and techniques are provided for the abstract definition of objects. A primitive language is presented allowing structured and rather independent definitions of object types. Each object is described as a temporal entity that evolves because of the events that happen during its life. The interaction between objects is reduced to event sharing. Both liveness and safety requirements can be stated and verified. Two case studies are presented for illustrating every aspect of the approach: the stack example which is very popular in the ADT area, thus allowing the comparison between the concepts of ADT and AOT, and the well known example of the eating philosophers which allows the discussion of the dynamic aspects.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTemporal Logic in Specification, Proceedings
EditorsAmir Pnueli, Behnam Banieqbal, Howard Barringer
Place of PublicationBerlin
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages27
ISBN (Electronic)9783540468110
ISBN (Print)9783540518037
Publication statusPublished - 1989
EventInternational Colloquium on Temporal Logic in Specification, 1987 - Altrincham, United Kingdom
Duration: 8 Apr 198710 Apr 1987

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume398 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


ConferenceInternational Colloquium on Temporal Logic in Specification, 1987
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • General Computer Science


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