Polymorphism in Python Programming
Introduction to Polymorphism
Polymorphism is a concept in object-oriented programming where objects of different classes can be used interchangeably. It is the ability of objects to take on different forms, depending on the context in which they are being used. Polymorphism is achieved in Python using inheritance and interfaces.
Types of Polymorphism
1. Static Polymorphism
Static Polymorphism is also known as Compile-time Polymorphism. In Static polymorphism, the decision of which function to call is made at the compile-time. Function Overloading is the best example of Static Polymorphism.
Function Overloading occurs when there are multiple functions with the same name, but different parameters.
def add(a,b): return a+b def add(a,b,c): return a+b+c
In the above example, we have two add functions. One with two parameters and one with three parameters. This concept is called Function Overloading. Whenever we call the add function, the compiler decides which function to call based on the number of arguments passed at the compile time.
2. Dynamic Polymorphism
Dynamic Polymorphism is also known as Runtime Polymorphism. In Dynamic Polymorphism, the decision of which function to call is made at the run time. Function Overriding is the best example of Dynamic Polymorphism.
Function Overriding occurs when a child class provides its own implementation of a method that is already defined in its parent class.
class Person: def greeting(self): print("Hello, I'm a person") class Student(Person): def greeting(self): print("Hello, I'm a student") person = Person() student = Student() person.greeting() # Output: Hello, I'm a person student.greeting() # Output: Hello, I'm a student
In the above example, we have two classes – Person and Student. The Student class inherits the greeting() method from the Person class and overrides it with its own implementation. When we call the greeting() method on the person object, it prints the message from the Person class. When we call the greeting() method on the student object, it prints the message from the Student class.
Advantages of Polymorphism
- Code Reusability: Polymorphism allows you to reuse the methods and properties of related objects without needing to duplicate the code in each object.
- Flexibility: Polymorphism makes your code more flexible by allowing you to work with objects of different types in a generic way, without the need for complex switch statements or type-casting.
- Abstraction: Polymorphism allows you to model complex systems, by allowing you to define abstract or generic methods and classes that can be used to represent groups of related objects, rather than requiring you to define each one individually.
Polymorphism is an important concept in object-oriented programming. It provides a way to make your code more flexible, reusable and abstract, by allowing you to work with objects of different types in a generic way. Understanding Polymorphism is essential for building complex systems and for developing high-quality, maintainable code.