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Passing Objects as Arguments – Object Oriented Programming (OOP)

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passing objects as argumentsPassing Objects as Arguments
Object Oriented Programming (OOP)
Third Semester | Second year
BSc.CSIT | Tribhuvan University (TU)

Passing Objects as Arguments
We can pass objects as arguments to a function like any other data type. This can be done by pass-by-value and a pass-by-reference. In pass-by-value, a copy of the object is passed to the function and an modifications made to the object inside the function are not reflected in the object used to call the function. While, in pass –by-reference, an address of the object is passed to the function and any changes made to the object inside the function is reflected in the actual object. Furthermore, we can also return object from the function like any other data type. Consider the following C++ program for addition and multiplication of two square matrices which illustrates the above concepts.

# include
# define MAX_SIZE 10
int n;
class Matrix
void get_matrix(void);
void display_matrix(void);
Matrix add(Matrix m);    // Matix object as argumentand as return: pass by value
void mul(Matrix &mat, Matrix m); // Matrix object as argument: pass by reference and pass by value
void Matrix: :get_matrix(void)
cout<< “\n Enter the order of square matrix(nXn):” <<endl; cin>> n;
cout<< “\n Enter the element of matrix: “ <<endl;
for (int i=0; i<n; i++)
For(int j=0; j<n; j++) cin>> item[i][j];
void Matrix::display_matrix(void)
cout<< “\n The element of matrix is : “ <<endl;
for (int i=0; i<n; i++)
for(int j=0; j<n; j++)
cout<< item[i][j] << “\t”;
Matrix Matrix::add(Matrix m)
Matrix temp;          // object temp of Matrix class
for(int i=0; i<n; i++)
for(int i=0; i<n; i++)
temp.item[i][j] = temp[i][j] + m.item[i][j];
return (temp);        // return matrix object
void Matrix::mul(Matrix &m, Matrix m)
for (int i=0; i<n; i++)
for (int j=0; j<n; j++)
for (int k=0; k<n; k++)
rm.item[i][j]=rm.item[i][j] + item[i][j]*m.item[k][j];
void main()
Matrix X,Y,Result;
cout<<”Matrix X:”<<endl;
cout<<”Matrix Y:”<<endl;
cout<<”\nAddition of X and Y:”<<endl;
cout<<”\nMultiplication of X and Y:”<<endl;
X.mul(Result,Y); //result=X*Y

If you look at the above program, you can observe that in main(), the statement
in which X.add(Y) invokes the member function add() of the class matrix by the object X with the object of Y as arguments. The members of Y can accessed only by using the dot operator (like m.item[i][j] within the add() member. Any modification made to the data members of the object Y is not visible to the caller’s actual parameter. The data members of X are accessed without the use of the class member access operator. The statement in the function add(),
returns the object temp as a return object. The result has become the return object temp which stores the sum of X and Y. This illustrates that function also return object.
Further, in main(), the statement
X.mul(Result, Y);
Transfers the object result by reference and Y by value to the member function mul(). When mul() is invoked with result and Y the objects parameters, the data members of X are accessed without the use of the class member access operator, while the data members of result and Y are accessed by using their names in association with the name of the object to which they belong. Modifications which are carried out on result object in the called function will also be reflected in the calling function.

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