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World English Dictionary

recursive function | |

—n | |

logic, maths a function defined in terms of the repeated application of a number of simpler functions to their own values, by specifying a base clause and a recursion formula |

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition

2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins

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2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins

Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009

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Encyclopedia Britannica

Encyclopedia

**recursive function**

in logic and mathematics, a type of function or expression predicating some concept or property of one or more variables, which is specified by a procedure that yields values or instances of that function by repeatedly applying a given relation or routine operation to known values of the function. The theory of recursive functions was developed by the 20th-century Norwegian Thoralf Albert Skolem, a pioneer in metalogic, as a means of avoiding the so-called paradoxes of the infinite that arise in certain contexts when "all" is applied to functions that range over infinite classes; it does so by specifying the range of a function without any reference to infinite classes of entities.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.

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