Data Types ! (session 4)

Session 4: Data Types


A. Introduction

  • A data type defines a collection of data objects and a set of predefined operations on those objects.
  • A descriptor is the collection of the attributes of a variable.
  • An object represents an instance of a user-defined (abstract data) type.


B. Primitive Data Type

  • Almost all programming languages provide a set of primitive data types.
  • Primitive data types: Those not defined in terms of other data types.
  • Some primitive data types are merely reflections of the hardware.
  • Others require only a little non-hardware support for their implementation.
  • Primitive data types:- Floating Point.Double Floating Point.Wide Character.

C. Character String Types

  • Values are sequences of characters.
  • Typical operations:
  • Assignment and copying.
  • Comparison (=, >, etc.).
  • Substring reference.
  • Pattern matching.

D. User-Defined Ordinal Types

  • An ordinal type is one in which the range of possible values can be easily associated with the set of positive integers
  • Enumeration Types:
  • All possible values, which are named constants, are provided in the definition.
  • C++ Example:
  • enum days {mon, tue, wed, thu, fri, sat, sun};
  • Evaluation of Enumerated Type
  • Aid to readability, e.g., no need to code a color as a number.
  • Aid to reliability, e.g., compiler can check:
  • Operations (don’t allow colors to be added).
  • No enumeration variable can be assigned a value outside its defined range.
  • Ada, C#, and Java 5.0 provide better support for enumeration than C++ because enumeration type variables in these languages are not coerced into integer types.
  • Implementation of User-Defined Ordinal Types
  • Enumeration types are implemented as integers.
  • Subrange types are implemented like the parent types with code inserted (by the compiler) to restrict assignments to subrange variables.

E. Array Types

  • An array is a homogeneous aggregate of data elements in which an individual element is identified by its position in the aggregate, relative to the first element.
  • Subscript Binding and Array Categories
  • C and C++ arrays that include static modifier are static.
  • C and C++ arrays without static modifier are fixed stack-dynamic.
  • C and C++ provide fixed heap-dynamic arrays.
  • Array Initialization:
  • C, C++, Java, C# example:

int list [] = {4, 5, 7, 83}

  • Character strings in C and C++:

char name [] = ″freddie″;

  • Arrays of strings in C and C++:

char *names [] = {″Bob″, ″Jake″, ″Joe″];

  • Heterogeneous Arrays
  • A heterogeneous array is one in which the elements need not be of the same type
  • Array Initialization:
  • int list [] = {1, 3, 5, 7};
  • char *names [] = {″Mike″, ″Fred″, ″Mary Lou″};
  • Slices
  • A slice is some substructure of an array; nothing more than a referencing mechanism.
  • Slices are only useful in languages that have array operations.

                               Example:#include <iostream>// std::cout

#include <cstddef>// std::size_t

#include <valarray>// std::valarray, std::slice

int main ()


On occasion a student only needs to compile a couple of sentences and see how it comes out.

std::valarray<int> foo (12);

for (int i=0; i<12; ++i) foo[i]=i;

std::valarray<int> bar = foo[std::slice(2,3,4)];

When a professor is teaching a class that needs a fantastic my forum research paper assistance, they will be more than happy to provide you with the assistance you require.

std::cout <<“slice(2,3,4):”;

for (std::size_t n=0; n<bar.size(); n++)

std::cout <<‘ ‘<< bar[n];

std::cout <<‘\n’;

return 0;


  • Implementation Of Arrays
  • Access function maps subscript expressions to an address in the array.
  • Access function for single-dimensioned arrays:

address(list[k]) = address (list[lower_bound])

+ ((k-lower_bound) * element_size)

  • Accessing Multi-Dimensioned Arrays
  • Two common ways:
  • Row major order (by rows) – used in most languages
  • Column major order (by columns) – used in Fortran
  • A compile-time descriptorfor a multidimensionalarray
  • Compile-Time Descriptors

                        Single-Dimensioned array                                        Multidimensional array

F. Associative Arrays

  • An associative array is an unordered collection of data elements that are indexed by an equal number of values called
  • Example:

#include <iostream>

#include <map>

#include <string>

#include <algorithm>

#include <cstdlib>

#include <iomanip>

#include <vector>

using namespace std;

int main()


map<string, map<string, vector<string>>> data;






vector<string>::iterator it;


it = data[“plants”][“trees”].begin();

it != data[“plants”][“trees”].end();



cout <<“Kind of tree: ” <<  *it << endl;


return 0;



G. Record Types

  • A record is a possibly heterogeneous aggregate of data elements in which the individual elements are identified by names
  • Example:

Student (idnumber, name, status, credits, gpa)

enum StatusType {FULLTIME, PARTTIME, NONDEGREE, GRAD} struct StudentType {   int idNumber;   char name[30];   StatusType status;   float credits;   float gpa;}; StudentType student1;StudentType student2;§  Implementation Of Record TypeØ  Offset address relative to the beginning of the records is associated with each field

H. Tuple Types

§  A tuple is a data type that is similar to a record, except that the elements are not named

I. List Types

§  Lists in LISP and Scheme are delimited by parentheses and use no commas    (A B C D) and (A (B C) D)§  Data and code have the same form     As data, (A B C) is literally what it is As code, (A B C) is the function A applied to the parameters B and C§  The interpreter needs to know which a list is, so if it is data, we quote it with an apostrophe. ′(A B C) is data§  List Operations in SchemeØ  CAR returns the first element of its list parameter(CAR ′(A B C)) returns AØ  CDR returns the remainder of its list parameter after the first element has been removed(CDR ′(A B C)) returns (B C)Ø  CONS puts its first parameter into its second parameter, a list, to make a new list(CONS ′A (B C)) returns (A B C)Ø  LIST returns a new list of its parameters(LIST ′A ′B ′(C D)) returns (A B (C D))

J. Union Types

§  A union is a type whose variables are allowed to store different type values at different times during execution§  Implementation of Unions:type Node (Tag : Boolean) isrecord    case Tag iswhen True => Count : Integer;when False => Sum : Float;end case;end record;

K. Pointer and Reference Types

§  A pointer type variable has a range of values that consists of memory addresses and a special value, nil.§  Provide the power of indirect addressing.§  Provide a way to manage dynamic memory.§  A pointer can be used to access a location in the area where storage is dynamically created (usually called a heap).§  Pointer Operations:Ø  Two fundamental operations: assignment and dereferencing.Ø  Assignment is used to set a pointer variable’s value to some useful address.Ø  Dereferencing yields the value stored at the location represented by the pointer’s valueü Dereferencing can be explicit or implicitü C++ uses an explicit operation via *          j = *ptr                      sets j to the value located at ptr  The assignment operation j = *ptr §  Problems with PointersØ  Dangling pointers (dangerous)ü  A pointer points to a heap-dynamic variable that has been deallocatedØ  Lost heap-dynamic variableü  An allocated heap-dynamic variable that is no longer accessible to the user program (often called garbage)§  Pointers in C and C++Ø  Extremely flexible but must be used with careØ  Pointers can point at any variable regardless of when or where it was allocatedØ  Used for dynamic storage management and addressingØ  Pointer arithmetic is possibleØ  Explicit dereferencing and address-of operatorsØ  Domain type need not be fixed (void *)        void *  can point to any type and can be typechecked (cannot be de-referenced)§  Pointer Arithmetic in C and C++floatstuff[100];float*p;p = stuff; *(p+5) is equivalent tostuff[5] and  p[5]*(p+i) is equivalent tostuff[i] and  p[i] §  Reference TypesØ  C++ includes a special kind of pointer type called a reference type that is used primarily for formal parametersØ  Java extends C++’s reference variables and allows them to replace pointers entirelyØ  C# includes both the references of Java and the pointers of C++§  Representations of PointersØ  Large computers use single valuesØ  Intel microprocessors use segment and offset§  Dangling Pointer ProblemØ  Tombstone: extra heap cell that is a pointer to the heap-dynamic variableü  The actual pointer variable points only at tombstonesü  When heap-dynamic variable de-allocated, tombstone remains but set to nilü  Costly in time and spaceØ  Locks-and-keys: Pointer values are represented as (key, address) pairsü  Heap-dynamic variables are represented as variable plus cell for integer lock valueü  When heap-dynamic variable allocated, lock value is created and placed in lock cell and key cell of pointer§  Heap ManagementØ  A very complex run-time processØ  Single-size cells vs. variable-size cellsØ  Two approaches to reclaim garbageü  Reference counters  (eager approach): reclamation is gradualü  Mark-sweep  (lazy approach): reclamation occurs when the list of variable space becomes empty§  Reference CounterØ  Reference counters: maintain a counter in every cell that store the number of pointers currently pointing at the cellü  Disadvantages: space required, execution time required, complications for cells connected circularlyü  Advantage: it is intrinsically incremental, so significant delays in the application execution are avoided


L. Type Checking

§  Generalize the concept of operands and operators to include subprograms and assignments§  Type checking is the activity of ensuring that the operands of an operator are of compatible types§  A compatible type is one that is either legal for the operator, or is allowed under language rules to be implicitly converted, by compiler- generated code, to a legal typeØ  This automatic conversion is called a coercion.§  A type error is the application of an operator to an operand of an inappropriate type§  If all type bindings are static, nearly all type checking can be static§  If type bindings are dynamic, type checking must be dynamic§  A programming language is strongly typed if type errors are always detected§  Advantage of strong typing: allows the detection of the misuses of variables that result in type errors

M. Strong Typing

§  Language examples:Ø  C and C++ are not: parameter type checking can be avoided; unions are not type checkedØ  Ada is, almost (UNCHECKED CONVERSION is loophole)(Java and C# are similar to Ada)§  Coercion rules strongly affect strong typing–they can weaken it considerably (C++ versus Ada)§  Although Java has just half the assignment coercions of C++, its strong typing is still far less effective than that of Ada

Source(s) : Binus Maya

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