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The Mathematica Programmer: Polymorphism and Message Passing

Roman Maeder
Organization: Wolfram Research, Inc.
Department: Kernel Technology
Journal / Anthology

The Mathematica Journal
Year: 1992
Volume: 2
Issue: 4
Page range: 47-53

Polymorphic functions are functions that can handle several different types of arguments. We look at ways of implementing such functions. First we present three LISP-like implementations using dispatch tables, data-driven programming, and message passing. Then we look at various ways of implementing objects, that is, data elements that have built in all the functions that can be applied to them. This concept provides for a high degree of modularity and lays the groundwork for an upcoming discussion of object-oriented programming.

*Applied Mathematics > Computer Science
*Mathematica Technology > Programming