Sunday, September 25, 2011

Multipath Inheritance in CPP

Hello friends, today I am going to discuss on one type of inheritance in c++. This is "Multipath Inheritance in CPP". Here also discuss about problem in multipath inheritance and how to solve this problem. Multipath Inheritance explains by using a sample c++ example.

What is Multipath Inheritance?

Multipath Inheritance is a hybrid inheritance. It is also called as Virtual Inheritance. It is combination of hierarchical inheritance and multiple inheritance.
In Multipath Inheritance there is a one base class GRANDPARENT. Two derived class PARENT1 and PARENT2 which are inherited from GRANDPARENT. Third Derived class CHILD which is inherited from both PARENT1 and PARENT2.

Problem in Multipath Inheritance

There is an ambiguity problem. When you run program with such type inheritance. It gives a compile time error [Ambiguity]. If you see the structure of Multipath Inheritance then you find that there is shape like Diamond.

Multipath Inheritance

Why Ambiguity Problem in Virtual Inheritance?

Suppose GRANDPARENT has a data member int i. PARENT1 has a data member int j. Another PARENT2 has a data member int k. CHILD class which is inherited from PARENT1 and PARENT2. It has a data member int l.
CHILD class have data member
int l(CHILD class data member)
int j( one copy of data member PARENT1)
int k ( one copy of data member PARENT2)
int i(two copy of data member GRANDPARENT)

This is ambiguity problem. In CHILD class have two copies of Base class. There are two duplicate copies of int i of base class. One copy through PARENT1 and another copy from PARENT2. This problem is also called as DIAMOND Problem.

Solve Multipath Inheritance Problem

To avoid duplicate copies of class Base we inherited intermediary classes with the prefix of the keyword "virtual". We use virtual keyword so it is also called as "Virtual Inheritance".
This results is avoiding duplicate copies of class Base members and in child class have only one copy of base class members.

C++ Program to demonstrate Multipath Inheritance

#include < iostream.h >
#include < conio.h >
class A
int a;
class B: virtual public A
int b;
class C: virtual public A
int c;
class D:public B,public C
int d;
void sum()
void display()
cout<<"Sum of a,b,c is:  " << d ;  
void main() 
D d1;  


when not using virtual keyword as prefix for intermediary class
Compile time error
Member is ambiguous: A::a and A::a

Output When use keyword virtual as prefix intermediary class
Sum of a,b,c =60

Hope, you like this post. If anybody known further details about multipath inheritance then share to others by comments.

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