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The structure of an application with PAC.

Presentation–abstraction–control (PAC) is a software architectural pattern. It is an interaction-oriented software architecture, and is somewhat similar to model–view–controller (MVC) in that it separates an interactive system into three types of components responsible for specific aspects of the application's functionality. The abstraction component retrieves and processes the data, the presentation component formats the visual and audio presentation of data, and the control component handles things such as the flow of control and communication between the other two components.[1]

In contrast to MVC, PAC is used as a hierarchical structure of agents, each consisting of a triad of presentation, abstraction and control parts. The agents (or triads) communicate with each other only through the control part of each triad. It also differs from MVC in that within each triad, it completely insulates the presentation (view in MVC) and the abstraction (model in MVC). This provides the option to separately multithread the model and view which can give the user experience of very short program start times, as the user interface (presentation) can be shown before the abstraction has fully initialized.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kai, Qian (2009). "Interaction-oriented Software Architectures". Software Architecture and Design Illuminated. Jones and Bartlett Illuminated. p. 200. ISBN 978-0-7637-5420-4.
  2. ^ Nigay, Laurence; Coutaz, Joëlle (1991). "Building User Interfaces: Organizing Software Agents". ESPRIT '91 Conference. Brussels, Belgium: November 1991.
  3. ^ Nigay, Laurence (January 1994). Conception et modélisation logicielles des systèmes interactifs : application aux interfaces multimodales (PDF) (in French and English). PhD dissertation, 315 pages, University of Grenoble, France. pp. 131–268.
  4. ^ Nigay, Laurence; Coutaz, Joëlle (1997). "Software Architecture Modelling: Bridging Two Worlds Using Ergonomics and Software Properties" (PDF). Formal Methods in Human-Computer Interaction. Springer-Verlag. chapter 3, pp. 49–73. ISBN 3-540-76158-6.


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