Michael Henson's

Glossary of Computer Science Terms

Index | A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


call stream: a communication facility that combines synchronous and asynchronous RPCs so that the different forms of communication are invisible to servers
candidate key: a minimal set of attributes that uniquely identifies an object or link
carry flag (CY): the first bit in the PSW register; a dual-purpose flag that signifies whether there is a carry-over during arithmetic, and is also used as a Boolean accumulator;
CGI: Common Gateway Interface -- conventions for data communication between a Web server and an auxiliary program;
Computer Generated Image -- a physical object modeled and represented as a realistic three-dimensional graphic
checked exception: an exception checked by the compiler which requires a programmer to write explicit exception handlers
checkpointing: the process of writing data items to a recovery file along with status entries and intentions lists
class: the definition of an object's attributes and operations;
a "blueprint" for a group of objects with common attributes, operations, and semantics
class attribute: an attribute whose value is common to a class of objects rather than a value peculiar to each instance
classification: a grouping of objects with the same data structure and behavior
client: hardware or software that utilizes services provided by other hardware or software
client module: a module that extends the operations of the flat file service and the directory service under a single API
closely synchronized group: a group of servers in which the members execute all requests immediately after receiving them
collection: an object that encapsulates a data structure for storing other objects
communication identifier: the main part of a resolved name that generally identifies the sender or receiver of some communication
complete class: a class which contains no abstract parts
computer science: the study of algorithms, including their formal and mathematical properties, hardware realizations, linguistic realizations, and applications; the science of algorithmic problem solving
computing agent: the thing carrying out the steps of an algorithm
concrete class: a class that can have direct instances
concurrency: a situation in which multiple processes exist in a single system
concurrency transparency: a type of transparency that enables several processes to operate concurrently using shared information objects without interference between them
concurrent: two or more tasks, activities, or events whose execution may overlap in time
condition: a Boolean function of object values valid over an interval of time
connection-oriented: a communication model in which a "virtual connection" is set up between a sending and a receiving process and is used for the transmission of a stream of data
connectionless: a communication model in which datagrams are transmitted to specified destinations
constraint: a functional relationship between objects, classes, attributes, links, and associations; a statement about some condition or relationship that must be maintained as true
constructor: a special member function that performs initialization and is called automatically when an object is instantiated
container class: a class of container objects, such as sets, arrays, dictionaries, and associations.
context switch: the transition between contexts that takes place when switching between threads
control: the aspect of a system that describes the sequences of operations that occur in response to stimuli
control flow: a Boolean value that affects whether a process is executed
CPU: Central Processing Unit; the "brain" of a computer system which controls all activity in the system