Polymorphism (from Greek polys, meaning ‘many’, and morphos, meaning ‘form’) is a programming concept that allows programmers to design and use the same name for different purposes on different occasions. It enables developers to create code that is flexible, extensible, and maintainable. This programming concept is applicable to various programming languages, including object-oriented languages.

In an object-oriented language, polymorphism describes the ability of an object to expose the same interface (name, type, and signature) for objects of different types. In object-oriented programming, polymorphism allows objects to respond differently to the same methods (changing the behavior of the program). For example, a particular method of adding two numbers could be implemented differently for different classes.

Polymorphism is commonly divided into two categories: static and dynamic. In static polymorphism, the behavior of the method is determined at compile time based on the type of the arguments. Dynamic polymorphism involves using the same method or function, but the behavior of the method varies at runtime based on the type of the arguments.

Polymorphism can also be divided into subcategories such as parametric polymorphism, subtype polymorphism, overloading polymorphism, and inclusion polymorphism. Each of the subcategories has its own set of features, and provides the programmer with various benefits. For example, parametric polymorphism enables methods to respond differently to different type arguments and allows method signatures to be reduced.

Benefits of polymorphism include the ability to change the behavior of a program without making major changes and the ability to easily extend existing code without making major changes. Applying polymorphism also results in maintainable, readable, and reliable code.

Polymorphism is also used in various areas of computing, including Artificial Intelligence (AI), Operating Systems (OSs), graphics in computers, web development, embedded systems, and Compilers. A key advantage of polymorphism in web development is that it allows developers to build a complex web interface while maintaining the structure and consistency of the code.

In conclusion, polymorphism is a programming concept that enables the reuse of code for different purposes and enabling developers to easily maintain, extend, read, and alter code. Various types of polymorphism exist to suit various types of programming needs. The benefits of polymorphism in programming include maintainability, extensibility, readability, and reliability of code. Practically, it is used in various types of computing.

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