Iteration And Recursion Assignment Help

Iteration And Recursion

Recursion in computer science is a method where the solution to a problem depends on solutions to smaller instances of the same problem. The approach can be applied to many types of problems, and is one of the central ideas of computer science.

Iteration vs. Recursion

Using a for or while loop to print the numbers from one to ten is an iterative process. An Iterative function is one that loops to repeat some part of the code until the specified condition is not satisfied. A Recursive function is one that calls itself again and again to repeat part of a code.

Example of Iteration in JavaScript

function factorial(n)
{
var i, result;
result = 1;
for(i=1; i<=n; i++)
{
result = result * i;		
}
return result;
}

Example of Recursion in Javascript

function fact(k)
{
if (k == 0) 
{ 
return 1;
}
else 
{
return k * fact(k - 1);
}
}

Let us consider these three factors to decide whether to use Iteration or Recursion.

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  1. Iterative functions are preferred over their recursive counterparts in case of speed. So, if speed is to be considered, then we can use iteration.
  2. Stack limit is another factor while preferring iteration over recursion.
  3. The procedures which are very programmed recursively naturally, and are unmanageable iteratively then the recursive functions are preferred over iteration.

Recursive functions

Many mathematical functions can be defined recursively:

  • Factorial
  • Fibonacci
  • Euclid's GCD (Greatest Common Denominator)
  • Fourier Transform

Many problems can be solved recursively, eg games of all types from simple ones like the Towers of Hanoi problem to complex ones like chess. In games, the recursive solutions are particularly convenient because, having solved the problem by a series of recursive calls; you want to find out how you got to the solution. By keeping track of the move chosen at any point, the program call stack does this housekeeping for you!

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