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46
votes
17answers
5k views

Recursion without factorial, Fibonacci numbers etc

Almost every article I can find about recursion includes the examples of factorial or Fibonacci Numbers, which are: Math Useless in real life Are there some interesting non-math code examples to ...
3
votes
3answers
833 views

Storing hierarchical template into a database

If this title is ambiguous, feel free to change it, I don't know how to put this in a one-liner. Example: Let's assume you have a html template which contains some custom tags, like <text_field ...
11
votes
7answers
2k views

Recursion — is it “divide and conquer” or “code reuse”

Recursion -- as we all know -- is one of those problems -- that wrapping your head around feels like achieving a "milestone" in your programming voyage. But when it comes to actually using it in ...
17
votes
9answers
9k views

How do I explain “Recursion” to a 8 years old kid? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: In plain English, what is recursion? What is the best way to explain "Recursion" to 8 years old kid? I tried with the Fibonacci Series but i failed.
3
votes
5answers
10k views

Advantage or disadvantages between recursive functions and for-loops [duplicate]

Whats the difference between the two procedures? When should I be using a recursive function instead of a normal for-loop?
15
votes
6answers
3k views

How do I determine the runtime of a double recursive function?

Given any arbitrarily double-recursive function, how would one calculate its run time? For Example (in pseudocode): int a(int x){ if (x < = 0) return 1010; else return b(x-1) + ...
12
votes
2answers
12k views

Understanding Backtracking in C++

I have a good basic understanding of the fundamentals of C++, I also have an understanding of how recursion works too. I came across certain problems like the classic eight queens problem and solving ...
11
votes
3answers
343 views

Why does the iterative version take longer?

I was looking over at http://programming.lispdream.com/blog/2011/06/recursion-vs-iteration/ and I saw that on his implementation of the recursive and iterative implementations of the factorial ...
4
votes
7answers
1k views

How do i speedily traverse a file system while extracting/extrapolating various data and provide user feedback?

I'm working on a system file scanner that reveals info about various files (e.g. size, last used, duplicates, etc). Currently I'm traversing the file system once just to get a good measure of the ...
18
votes
10answers
9k views

What is so difficult about pointers/recursion? [closed]

In the perils of java schools Joel discusses his experience at Penn and the difficulty of "segmentation faults". He says [segfaults are difficult until you] "take a deep breath and really try ...
5
votes
10answers
4k views

In term of performance : while , for … Loops VS recursion [closed]

What is better for performance to write the loop as linear e.g. for , while or write it as recursion ?
10
votes
9answers
2k views

Resources for improving your comprehension of recursion? [closed]

I know what recursion is (when a patten reoccurs within itself, typically a function that calls itself on one of its lines, after a breakout conditional... right?), and I can understand recursive ...
56
votes
18answers
50k views

In plain English, what is recursion?

The idea of recursion is not very common in real world. So, it seems a bit confusing to the novice programmers. Though, I guess, they become used to the concept gradually. So, what can be a nice ...
7
votes
7answers
2k views

Is recursion an instance of being “too clever” when programming?

I've read several books and learned through experience that optimizing code to the point where it is inscrutable, or coming up with an extremely fast but extremely complex solution to a problem is not ...
6
votes
5answers
3k views

Can all the recursive functions be coded with iterations? [closed]

What are the advantages of recursion? Some programming languages can optimize tail recursion, but, still in general terms, recursion consume more resources than regular loops. Is it possible to ...
18
votes
7answers
5k views

What imperative programming languages do not support recursion?

To my knowledge, all modern imperative programming languages support recursion in the sense that a procedure can call itself. This was not always the case, but I cannot find any hard facts with a ...