abstraction layer

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abstraction layer

Software that translates a high-level request into the low-level commands required to perform the operation. The most common abstraction layer is the programming interface (API) between an application and the operating system. High-level calls are made to the operating system, which executes the necessary instructions to perform the task.

The domain names and URLs on the Internet are another common abstraction layer, enabling an alphabetic name such as computerlanguage.com to be converted into the numeric IP address of the Web server (see Internet domain name).

Multiple Layers of Abstraction
Today's applications are often programmed in multiple layers of abstraction. For example, a program can be written by selecting menu options and dragging icons around the screen. These movements may be translated into a high-level language that is translated into a low-level language, which is translated into machine language. The farther away from the machine language of the computer that an operation is programmed, the more instructions are executed to perform the task.

Combine this with the interaction of the operating system, which itself may be executing 10 times as many instructions as necessary, and you understand why even on a fast computer, a user may be able to press the keyboard keys faster than the program can accept the input. Considering modern personal computers execute upwards of two billion instructions per second, compared to the first PCs that executed one million, the extra machine cycles are absorbed layer to layer, each one telling the next one what to do. See level of abstraction.
References in periodicals archive ?
While this goal is motivated by the need for more accurate NLP, it also relates to the fundamental problem building artificial cognitive systems that adapt to their environment, seamlessly connect complex layers of abstraction and never stop learning.
Not that I have any better ideas, it's just that ideas about the early universe seem to rest on so many layers of abstraction.
The application of layers of abstraction in computer science is a well-known technique used either prescriptively to coordinate standards development, or descriptively to make sense of complicated processes and ease comparison of apparently conflicting ideas.
That imported map may have been created by the same concept map author or another user, and may itself possess multiple layers of abstraction, all of which are imported at the appropriate new abstraction levels.
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0 allows IT organizations to cut through the complexity of virtual environments, penetrating the layers of abstraction and untangling the relationships between the physical and virtual worlds.
The DCI-developed components provide very flexible layers of abstraction from the front-end RFID and sensors modules so that changes in communication technology and standards can be easily adopted with minimal business disruption.
Rhines will explore how verification over the past twenty years has been driven by successive waves of innovations, moving designers up the layers of abstraction.
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IVIS is platform-independent and provides multiple layers of abstraction and a data warehouse that facilitates communication with peripheral devices.
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