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An overview of recursion and recursive algorithms from an object-oriented perspective.

Recursive data structures

A recursive data structure is an object or class that contains an abstraction of itself.

In mathematical terms, we say that the object is "isomorphic" to itself. The basic embodiment of a recursive data structure is the Composite Design pattern . Recursive data structures enable us to represent repetitive abstract patterns. In such, they enable us to generate or represent complexity from simplicity.

Characteristics of a recursive data structure:

  • Abstract representation : Since the actual total structure of the data is not known until run-time, the data must be represented by an abstraction, such as an abstract class or interface.
  • Base case(s) : These represent the "end" of the pattern. They are the termination point(s) of the data structure.
  • Inductive case(s) : These represent the on-going, "interior" portion of the repetitive pattern. They embody the ability to represent the data structure as a a simple connection between abstractly equivalent entities.

Recursive data structures are arguably the most important data structure in computer science as they are able to represent arbitrarily complex data. Indeed, if one looks across all the sciences, one sees that one of the fundamental modeling tools used is to attempt to

Recursive algorithms

In order to process a recursive data structure, it makes sense that any such algorithm should reflect the recursive nature of the data structure:

A recursive algorithm is a process that accomplishes its task, in part, by calling an abstraction of itself

Recursion is thus a special case of delegation.

In light of the above definition, it is not surprising that recursive algorithms and recursive data structures share common characteristics:

Characteristics of a recursive algorithm:

  • Abstract representation : Since the actual total process needed to process the recursive dataastructure of the data is not known until run-time, the algorithm must be represented by an abstraction, such as an abstract method (this is not the only way).
  • Base case(s) : These represent the "end" of the algorithm. They are the termination point(s) of the algorithm.
  • Inductive case(s) : These represent the on-going, "interior" portion of the algorithm. They embody the ability to process the recursive data structure by calling the same abstract process on the composed elements of the structure.

The similarity between recursive algorithms and recursive data structures is because in an OO system, the structure drives the algorithm . That is, it is the form of the data structure that determines the form if the algorithm. In an OO system, objects are asked to perform algorithms as they pertain to that object--that is, an algorithm on an object is a method of that object. The data has the behavior. The data is intelligent. This is in contrast to procedural or functional programming, where data is handed to the behavior. That is, stand-alone functions are used to process non-intelligent data. (Caveat: With all that said, in more advanced designs, we will show the algorithm can be decoupled from its data structure and thus be removed as a method of the data. This will not change the above principles however.)

Questions & Answers

Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Principles of object-oriented programming. OpenStax CNX. May 10, 2013 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col10213/1.37
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