1. A processor design which is not intended to be implemented as hardware, but which is the notional executor of a particular intermediate language (abstract machine language) used in a compiler or interpreter. An abstract machine has an instruction set, a register set and a model of memory. It may provide instructions which are closer to the language being compiled than any physical computer or it may be used to make the language implementation easier to port to other platforms.
A virtual machine is an abstract machine for which an interpreter exists.
Examples: ABC, Abstract Machine Notation, ALF, CAML, F-code, FP/M, Hermes, LOWL, Christmas, SDL, S-K reduction machine, SECD, Tbl, Tcode, TL0, WAM.
2. A procedure for executing a set of instructions in some formal language, possibly also taking in input data and producing output. Such abstract machines are not intended to be constructed as hardware but are used in thought experiments about computability.
Examples: Finite State Machine, Turing Machine.
- Abstract music
. Historical Examples As a piece of abstract music, the movement appears long, but not if the dramatic situation be kept well in mind. The Pianoforte Sonata J.S. Shedlock This is the only one of the sonatas which, as abstract music, would be satisfactory without any programme. The Pianoforte Sonata J.S. Shedlock
- Abstract machine notation
abstract machine notation language (AMN) A language for specifying abstract machines in the B-Method, based on the mathematical theory of Generalised Substitutions. (1995-03-13)
- Abstract noun
a noun denoting something immaterial and abstract, as rest, dread, or transportation. a noun formed with a suffix that imparts such a meaning, as kindness. Contemporary Examples Glenn Beck did it before, although the abstract noun he chose to foist on the nation was “honor.” Sanity Is Overrated Tunku Varadarajan October 28, 2010 Historical Examples […]
- Abstract number
a number that does not designate the quantity of any particular kind of thing. Historical Examples And T must be, not a sum of concrete goods, but a sum of abstract numbers, and so itself an abstract number. The Value of Money Benjamin M. Anderson, Jr.