Showing posts with the label generalization

Specialization, Generalization, and Abstraction

A question was raised on LinkedIn (you can follow me there: ) that got me thinking and I decided to blog about it. I am going to start by defining what generalization means in Object-Oriented Programming (OOP) and Design (OOD). Generalization in OOD implies that a specialized (child) class is based on a general (parent) class. This, in turn, implies a "is-a" relationship. When you analyze the object types and their relationships as depicted in the image above, from left to right, it goes from very general to more specific. You could say that an Animal "is a" more general form of Dog, of Canine, and even than Mammal. Likewise, a Canine "is a" more general form of Dog. If you analyze it from right to left, the opposite happens: it goes from more specific to more general. Put in other terms, the type gets broadened. Therefore, you can still refer to dogs as canines, mammals, or even animals.