Home Page - 2002-05-19

Post date: Nov 29, 2008 3:32:10 AM

Recursion through Combinatorics [Read this Article]

In a suitable light, recursion is nothing short of a magic or a poetic work of art. But it does have its limitation, in being bound by the limited stack size. Clearly for some problems of large sizes, a loop is highly scalable and often the only way out. But for some complex small logics, recursion could be infinitely elegant and maybe even faster. I always thought that all recursion based problems could be solved with loops alone. Somewhere I learnt that somebody called Ackermann proved with examples that there are recursions which are uncastable into loops alone, unless we resort to stack like data structures, which are just recursion at heart. Anyway, almost all modern languages are capable of recursive method calls, so it is good to learn to enjoy, and be benefited by them, while they are still there.