Computer Dictionary Online

Medical Dictionary   Law Dictionary   Legal Dictionary   Website Design

0  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  a  b  c  d  e  f  g  h  i  j  k  l  m  n  o  p  q  r  s  t  u  v  w  x  y  z 


<mathematics, programming> When a function (or procedure) calls itself. Such a function is called "recursive". If the call is via one or more other functions then this group of functions are called "mutually recursive".

If a function will always call itself, however it is called, then it will never terminate. Usually however, it first performs some test on its arguments to check for a "base case" - a condition under which it can return a value without calling itself.

The canonical example of a recursive function is factorial:

		factorial 0 = 1
		factorial n = n * factorial (n-1)

Functional programming languages rely heavily on recursion, using it where a procedural language would use iteration.

See also recursion, recursive definition, tail recursion.

[Jargon File]


Contact the Computer Dictionary Online  ::  Link to the Computer Dictionary Online  ::  Disclaimer for Computer Dictionary Online

Computer Dictionary Online
Copyright © 2017