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Article

An ad hoc approach to the implementation of polymorphism

Citation
Morrison R, Dearle A, Connor RCH & Brown AL (1991) An ad hoc approach to the implementation of polymorphism. ACM Transactions on Programming Languages and Systems (TOPLAS), 13 (3), pp. 342-371. https://doi.org/10.1145/117009.117017

Abstract
Polymorphic abstraction provides the ability to write programs that are independent of the form of the data over which they operate. There are a number of different categories of polymorphic expression— ad hoc and umversal, which includes parametric and inclusion— all of which have many advantages in terms of code reuse and software economics. It has proved difficult to provide efficient implementations of polymorphism. Here, we address this problem and describe a new technique that can implement all forms of polymorphism, use a conventional machine architecture, and support nonuniform data representations. Furthermore, the method ensures that any extra cost of implementation applies to polymorphic forms only, and allows such polymorphic forms to persist over program invocations.

Keywords
Efficient Implementation; Polymorphic Form; Program Language; Universal Quantification; Machine Code

Journal
ACM Transactions on Programming Languages and Systems (TOPLAS): Volume 13, Issue 3

StatusPublished
Author(s)Morrison, Ron; Dearle, Alan; Connor, Richard C H; Brown, Alfred L
Publication date31/07/1991
Date accepted by journal31/01/1991
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1893/27723
ISSN0164-0925
eISSN1558-4593
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