Expressive and Modular Predicate Dispatch for Java

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Executive Summary

Predicate dispatch is an Object-Oriented (OO) language mechanism for determining the method implementation to be invoked upon a message send. With predicate dispatch, each method implementation includes a predicate guard specifying the conditions under which the method should be invoked, and logical implication of predicates determines the method overriding relation. Predicate dispatch naturally unifies and generalizes several common forms of dynamic dispatch, including traditional OO dispatch, multimethod dispatch, and functional-style pattern matching. Unfortunately, prior languages supporting predicate dispatch have had several deficiencies that limit the practical utility of this language feature.

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