Types of inheritance in Java: Single,Multiple,Multilevel & Hybrid

Below are Various types of inheritance in Java. We will see each one of them one by one with the help of examples and flow diagrams.

1) Single Inheritance

Single inheritance is damn easy to understand. When a class extends another one class only then we  call it a single inheritance. The below flow diagram shows that class B extends only one class which is A. Here A is a parent class of B and B would be  a child class of A.

Single Inheritance Types of inheritance in Java: Single,Multiple,Multilevel & Hybrid

Single Inheritance example program in Java

Class A
{
   public void methodA()
   {
     System.out.println("Base class method");
   }
}

Class B extends A
{
   public void methodB()
   {
     System.out.println("Child class method");
   }
   public static void main(String args[])
   {
     B obj = new B();
     obj.methodA(); //calling super class method
     obj.methodB(); //calling local method
  }
}

2) Multiple Inheritance

Multiple Inheritance” refers to the concept of one class extending (Or inherits) more than one base class. The inheritance we learnt earlier had the concept of one base class or parent. The problem with “multiple inheritance” is that the derived class will have to manage the dependency on two base classes.

Multiple Inheritance Types of inheritance in Java: Single,Multiple,Multilevel & Hybrid

Note 1: Multiple Inheritance is very rarely used in software projects. Using Multiple inheritance often leads to problems in the hierarchy. This results in unwanted complexity when further extending the class.

Note 2: Most of the new OO languages like Small Talk, Java, C# do not support Multiple inheritance. Multiple Inheritance is supported in C++.

3) Multilevel Inheritance

Multilevel inheritance refers to a mechanism in OO technology where one can inherit from a derived class, thereby making this derived class the base class for the new class. As you can see in below flow diagram C is subclass or child class of B and B is a child class of A. For more details and example refer – Multilevel inheritance in Java.

Multilevel Inheritance Types of inheritance in Java: Single,Multiple,Multilevel & Hybrid

Multilevel Inheritance example program in Java

Class X
{
   public void methodX()
   {
     System.out.println("Class X method");
   }
}
Class Y extends X
{
public void methodY()
{
System.out.println("class Y method");
}
}
Class Z extends Y
{
   public void methodZ()
   {
     System.out.println("class Z method");
   }
   public static void main(String args[])
   {
     Z obj = new Z();
     obj.methodX(); //calling grand parent class method
     obj.methodY(); //calling parent class method
     obj.methodZ(); //calling local method
  }
}

4) Hierarchical Inheritance

In such kind of inheritance one class is inherited by many sub classes. In below example class B,C and D inherits the same class A. A is parent class (or base class) of B,C & D. Read More at – Hierarchical Inheritance in java with example program.

Hierarchical Inheritance Types of inheritance in Java: Single,Multiple,Multilevel & Hybrid

5) Hybrid Inheritance

In simple terms you can say that Hybrid inheritance is a combination of Single and Multiple inheritance. A typical flow diagram would look like below. A hybrid inheritance can be achieved in the java in a same way as multiple inheritance can be!! Using interfaces. yes you heard it right. By using interfaces you can have multiple as well as hybrid inheritance in Java.

Read the full article here – hybrid inheritance in java with example program.

Hybrid inheritance Types of inheritance in Java: Single,Multiple,Multilevel & Hybrid

5 comments… add one

  • sami April 21, 2014, 5:56 PM

    it is one of the most beautiful notes. i easily understand. Thanks for this……

    Reply
  • yuvraj patil May 22, 2014, 6:06 PM

    explain the Hybrid Inheritance with example in details ?
    thnx

    Reply
  • Kultaran singh May 29, 2014, 2:13 AM

    good example in easy way

    Reply
  • aslamraza September 4, 2014, 7:31 AM

    please list out the programming languages that support different inheritances
    thank you !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  • sanjay thakor September 11, 2014, 6:34 PM

    good material for easy self learning

    Reply

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