recursive function

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

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Encyclopedia Britannica
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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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