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Abstraction in Python

Abstraction is used to hide the internal functionality of the function from the users. The users only interact with the basic implementation of the function, but inner working is hidden. User is familiar with that "what function does" but they don't know "how it does."

In simple words, we all use the smartphone and very much familiar with its functions such as camera, voice-recorder, call-dialing, etc., but we don't know how these operations are happening in the background. Let's take another example - When we use the TV remote to increase the volume. We don't know how pressing a key increases the volume of the TV. We only know to press the "+" button to increase the volume.

That is exactly the abstraction that works in the object-oriented concept.

Why Abstraction is Important?

In Python, an abstraction is used to hide the irrelevant data/class in order to reduce the complexity. It also enhances the application efficiency. Next, we will learn how we can achieve abstraction using the Python program.

Abstraction classes in Python

In Python, abstraction can be achieved by using abstract classes and interfaces.

A class that consists of one or more abstract method is called the abstract class. Abstract methods do not contain their implementation. Abstract class can be inherited by the subclass and abstract method gets its definition in the subclass. Abstraction classes are meant to be the blueprint of the other class. An abstract class can be useful when we are designing large functions. An abstract class is also helpful to provide the standard interface for different implementations of components. Python provides the abc module to use the abstraction in the Python program. Let's see the following syntax.


We import the ABC class from the abc module.

Abstract Base Classes

An abstract base class is the common application program of the interface for a set of subclasses. It can be used by the third-party, which will provide the implementations such as with plugins. It is also beneficial when we work with the large code-base hard to remember all the classes.

Working of the Abstract Classes

Unlike the other high-level language, Python doesn't provide the abstract class itself. We need to import the abc module, which provides the base for defining Abstract Base classes (ABC). The ABC works by decorating methods of the base class as abstract. It registers concrete classes as the implementation of the abstract base. We use the @abstractmethod decorator to define an abstract method or if we don't provide the definition to the method, it automatically becomes the abstract method. Let's understand the following example.

Example -


The mileage is 30kmph
The mileage is 27kmph 
The mileage is 25kmph 
The mileage is 24kmph

Explanation -

In the above code, we have imported the abc module to create the abstract base class. We created the Car class that inherited the ABC class and defined an abstract method named mileage(). We have then inherited the base class from the three different subclasses and implemented the abstract method differently. We created the objects to call the abstract method.

Let's understand another example.

Let's understand another example.

Example -


Triangle has 3 sides
Square has 4 sides
Pentagon has 5 sides
Hexagon has 6 sides

Explanation -

In the above code, we have defined the abstract base class named Polygon and we also defined the abstract method. This base class inherited by the various subclasses. We implemented the abstract method in each subclass. We created the object of the subclasses and invoke the sides() method. The hidden implementations for the sides() method inside the each subclass comes into play. The abstract method sides() method, defined in the abstract class, is never invoked.

Points to Remember

Below are the points which we should remember about the abstract base class in Python.

  • An Abstract class can contain the both method normal and abstract method.
  • An Abstract cannot be instantiated; we cannot create objects for the abstract class.

Abstraction is essential to hide the core functionality from the users. We have covered the all the basic concepts of Abstraction in Python.

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